Proteas settle on 'meaningful gesture' to show united front against racism

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Mark Boucher (Gallo)
Mark Boucher (Gallo)

The Proteas have settled on a "meaningful gesture" to take a collective stand against racism and discrimination during their upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka. 

That was the message from head coach Mark Boucher on Thursday ahead of the Boxing Day Test at Centurion. 

Boucher was responding to questions on concerns that were raised recently by the current interim board, chaired by Judge Zak Yacoob, surrounding the Proteas' stance on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in their T20 series against England. 

The Proteas, in a decision understood to have been taken by the entire squad, opted against taking a knee in support of BLM at the start of that series. 

A few weeks later, the interim board spoke out. 

"The Interim Board felt that we should embrace every aspect of our constitution fully as South Africans and show the world that all of us are together in opposing racism at every turn," it said in its statement.

"The Board feels Black Lives Matter has a particular meaning given South Africa’s apartheid past."

Yacoob acknowledged that he "could not compel" the team into any action, but he effectively encouraged the players to take a stand that showed their support of BLM. 

On December 26, the Proteas are once again unlikely to take a knee, but there will almost certainly be more action than what was seen ahead of the T20 series at the start of the month. 

"We appreciate that the board isn't looking to compel the team into doing anything, one way or another, and that they are happy for the players to go through their processes and come up with something meaningful to them," Boucher explained. 

"The team is more than happy to engage further with them on what they would like to discuss at a more appropriate time.

"We've had a lot of discussions since we've come into the bubble (Gauteng camp) on this, especially after what the board statement was, and I think the guys have come up with a meaningful gesture.

"That's something that the players will share with everyone."

This will be South Africa's first Test series since they went down 3-1 to England a year ago. 

Play on Saturday starts at 10:00.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Would you be keen to see the Springboks join the Six Nations?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Yes! The Northern Hemisphere is the future.
53% - 6156 votes
No! The Rugby Championship is still the pinnacle.
47% - 5399 votes
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.