Springboks

Bok legend Beast on Black Lives Matter: We've reached a pivotal crossroads

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Tendai Mtawarira (Gallo)
Tendai Mtawarira (Gallo)

Springbok legend Tendai 'Beast' Mtawarira believes South Africans have reached a crossroads in the conversation surrounding the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

Inspired by national captain Siya Kolisi's powerful stance on the matter last weekend, Mtawarira took to Instagram to add his voice.

Born in Zimbabwe and having had his Springbok status temporarily threatened by the South African government back in 2009 because of that heritage, Mtawarira went on to play 117 Tests for his country. 

In the post, he points to the unity displayed by the Springbok class of 2019 that won the World Cup in Japan under Kolisi as an example of what can be achieved in South Africa. 

Mtawarira, who has now fully retired from the game, said it was important for players to bring light to certain experiences they may have had, even if it makes for some uncomfortable conversations. 

"Throughout my career I enjoyed support from many different people from different backgrounds, races and locations," said Mtawarira.

"Sport united people and it can make a difference in someone's life and it made a huge difference in my life.

"The biggest success that I achieved (2019 World Cup) came about because we as players chose to look past our differences: the colour of our skin, our different backgrounds, our different cultures. We embraced each other, we became one and we were afforded the same opportunity.

"I think it's the same for everyone that is in the corporate space, in schools and in the community. We all need to look past our differences and the colour of our skin ... embrace each other for our differences because there is strength in that.

"We need to afford each other the same opportunities to excel.

"I really feel that, in this time, we're at a crossroads and a pivotal moment where we have to make a decision.

"There are certain things we might have endured in the past and we have to bring them to light because for us to move forward, we have to address the big elephant in the room.

"We have to bring about those conversations that will bring discomfort to everybody but that will allow us to grow. I feel the decisions that we make today will impact the future of our kids and the next generation.

"We need to make a change and bring about a difference and be the catalysts of this moment."

- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard

View this post on Instagram

After listening to Siya's take on black live’s matter and inclusion in South Africa, I felt compelled to make this video and stand in solidarity and support with him. I have a full understanding of how systems in our country have marginalized certain demographics and ethnic groups. It’s not easy doubting and second guessing yourself, not because of your lack of talent and drive but because you do not fall into certain “acceptable” categories . It’s difficult to come to terms with the fact that you have to put in twice the work to get half the opportunities available. We need to afford eachother the same equal opportunities in sport, corporate spaces, schools and the communities at large. We need also harness the power of our diversity. But diversity with no inclusion is futile. I’m glad over the last 2 years the Springboks through Rassie’s leadership, have begun to address what was once the elephant in the room and it’s already started to bear tremendous fruit. I look forward to the day when this blueprint is the norm rather than the exception #blacklivesmatter?????????#bethechangeyouwanttosee#thetimeisnow ????????#pavingthewayforthenextgeneration

A post shared by Beast (@tendaimtawarira) on

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