Springboks speak out about anarchy in South Africa
REACTION: The Springbok team, as a collective, has spoken out about the ongoing violence in South Africa.
Riots, looting and asinine destruction of property has been rife in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng this week – resulting in the cancellation of all the weekend’s Currie Cup matches.
On Thursday the Cheetahs revealed that they are unwilling to travel to the violence-ravaged Johannesburg to play the Lions at Ellis Park.
This followed SA Rugby’s announcement earlier this week that the planned matches between the Griquas and the Bulls, as well as the Sharks and Pumas, were called off.
The Bulls are scheduled to face the Springboks in a warm-up match in Cape Town, but the cancellation of the Sharks match was related to the violence.
In a statement on Friday, the Springbok team called for an end to the violence.
(The Springboks statement in full below video – John Dobson opens up about what the B&I Lions tour means for South Africa in these troubling times)
“We’re only a rugby team; we don’t have any real power or authority; there’s no reason why anyone should listen to us or follow what we say,”the statement started.
“We’re just ordinary South Africans like you. And, like you, we’re hurting.
“Like you, we’re horrified by the pain and suffering and loss of life that has happened.
“It shocks us to see the desperate measures that people have taken to protect their neighbourhoods, their property and their livelihoods.
“But we acknowledge that as professional sportspeople that we speak from a position of privilege and have little first-hand experience of the poverty in which many of our fellow South Africans live their daily lives.
“But we do know that looting and violence and the burning of buildings will not improve the lives of anyone in the long term.
“As players, all we can do is our jobs – which is to do our best to win rugby matches in the hope of putting smiles on people’s faces and proving along the way that we are stronger when we are together. It’s not just a hashtag South Africa, we believe it to be true.
“We’re only a rugby team; made up of ordinary South Africans who love our country and all its people and want to see it prosper.
“But our country is bleeding. Let us start the healing by being stronger together.”
— Springboks (@Springboks) July 16, 2021