'He is not that kind of person': Kolisi comes to Jordie's defence
REACTION: Springbok captain Siya Kolisi wants the whole world to know that Jordie Barrett did shake President Cyril Ramaphosa’s hand after Saturday’s World Cup Final in Saint-Denis.
Some video footage of Saturday’s medal ceremony has been circulating on social media and it apparently suggests that Barrett ignored South Africa’s President on his way to collecting his silver medal.
However, Kolisi cleared things up at a press conference at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg after the Bok squad returned home following their World Cup success.
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They mized Ramaphosa’s handshake 😭😭😭
— 𝐓𝐇𝐄 𝐆𝐘𝐀𝐋༒ (@TheGyal_) October 30, 2023
“After the game, there was a video that went out on TikTok about Jordie Barrett and somebody thinks that he didn’t shake the president’s hand,” said Kolisi.
“He has been getting bad media and people are being hard on him.
“It’s tough losing a World Cup Final and obviously getting that kind of negative media is not good.
“I know him personally and he is not that kind of person. The video was probably taken after he shook the hand.
“He shook the president’s hand and we just want to say that we are fully behind him. We respect New Zealand a lot and they respect us a lot. So please let’s just celebrate.
“There is nothing worse than losing a game and then also getting all these kinds of messages.
“It’s really been tough for him, the team and his family, but as a South African team we are all behind him.
“So please, if you can [directed at the media], he did shake the president’s hand.”
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They all shook Pres hand. The camera just cut back after Jordie had already done so and you can see Pres shakes Beauden’s hand as he comes up the stairs. Think we can all relax now. pic.twitter.com/uyfpdGDGhs
— JamesR (@Vlad_Drac77) October 31, 2023
Meanwhile, thousands of supporters arrived at the airport to welcome the Boks back home, and for Kolisi, it underlined what their mission in France was all about.
“Today [Tuesday], South Africa showed us exactly who we did it for,” said an elated Kolisi.
“On behalf of the team, we’d like to thank the people of South Africa. It was a tough 20 weeks, but there was four years of planning behind that.
“When we won the World Cup in 2019, people didn’t think we would do it – instead, they were hopeful because the plan was always for 2023, but things changed and we won in 2019, and this time our people expected us to win.
“This was not about us as players, this victory was for every South African, and we showed what is possible with this diverse team.”
Kolisi added: “The coaching staff knew how to align us as a group. This trophy was for the people experiencing tough circumstances, those in Zwide, Goodwood and Malmesbury, and all other communities and townships, but also for those who are more well-to-do, and everyone who wants to make something of their lives.
“As a team, we want to be a reference point for our people, to show them how we can do it, and hopefully they’ll get hope from this team.
“Another important thing for us was to transform while winning. But we’d also like this to extend beyond sport and what is happening in South Africa, and how people see things going forward.
“We may not be able to change people’s circumstances, but we can give hope we can inspire people.”
Additional source: @Springboks