Netball SA stands up against discrimination, supports Black Lives Matter movement

Cecilia Molokwane
Cecilia Molokwane
Gallo Images

Netball South Africa (NSA) has voiced its support for the Black Lives Matter movement and urged players, coaches and administrators to come forward if they've experienced any form of racial discrimination.

The Black Lives Matter movement has gained momentum locally with South African sporting codes, in particular cricket and rugby, making headlines in the past few weeks.

Earlier this month, Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi stated that he would educate and address the Black Lives Matter movement in Proteas the dressing room.

30 former Proteas - all players of colour - and five coaches signed and expressed their support for Ngidi and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Former Proteas fast bowler Makhaya Ntini appeared on SABC's Morning Live and revealed that he often felt lonely throughout his international career.

World Cup-winner Springbok captain Siya Kolisi broke his silence on the Black Lives Matter movement and implored South Africans to "have the difficult conversations" and move out of "comfort zones".

READ | Cricket SA boss meets with 40 black former players, coaches to pave new way forward

The NSA revealed that they stand against racism and stand against any form of discrimination and prejudice.

"We cannot be ignorant of the social injustices of our past as a society, we cannot be in a position where we behave and act like historical legacies have not affected and impacted us and how we do things," their statement read.

"Black Lives Matter is an important social injustice conversation to have, in doing that we need to make sure that this does not become another talk shop or an act of lip service, this needs to be followed by actions, these actions should seek towards rectifying the injustices of our past."

Netball South Africa President Cecilia Molokwane revealed in the statement that she had to personally deal with discrimination as a former player.

"As a former player I have had to deal with a lot of discrimination and it is for this reason that when I got into office, I made sure that we deal with these issues that have plagued us for so long and no current player should go through what I went through," said Molokwane.

"This is not an overnight job; this is a mammoth of a task and we are consistently working towards making sure that we deal with this monster and eradicate completely from our sport. Racism has no place in society and in any kind of sport, the onus is on us to make sure that we uproot it.

"As the current President of Netball South Africa, I always preach that we need to be the change that we want to see. This starts with looking at the person you see in the mirror," continued Molokwane.

"We need to acknowledge that we have a very hurtful past as a country, and in one way or the other we must do everything we can to correct the wrongs of our past.

Molokwane concluded "the current Proteas team that we have now is in no way divided, none of the players that are there can ever say that they were or are discriminated based on their colour of their skin. They embrace each other as a family and as sisters. This is the culture that we are inculcating as part of our DNA and blueprint moving forward."

Netball South Africa has urged that "all players, coaches, umpires, technical teams, and administrators who may have experienced any form of racial discrimination to come forth to us as the federation so that these matters can be dealt with as soon as possible. Eradicating racism in our federation can never be the task of the Executive and Council alone, we need every single netball stakeholder to get involved and help us deal with this issue."

"Collectively we need to work towards building the South Africa that we all want to live in, one that is free of prejudice and discrimination, one that affords all of us equal opportunities, one that allows us to express ourselves and be free in doing so.

"Our commitment as Netball South Africa is to become and continue being custodians of equal opportunities, fairness, and social justice. We will never miss an opportunity to create an all-inclusive environment that is free of discrimination, racism and any other social ill that seeks to negate the gains of our democracy."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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