Blow the gaff, rugby bosses left with egg on the face over racism
At long last, yours truly is able to walk tall and say a few words of my own after having been unjustifiably castigated and labeled “anti-white”, as well as an extremely troublesome fellow for my uncompromising stance against blatant racism, so prevalent in the annals of many a sporting discipline in our midst.
Needless to remind you that the dust has not settled in the aftermath of a widely reported ugly racial abuse incident committed by a pale-skinned Namibian rugby player going by the name of Theo Coetzee, also known as ‘Kwaaitjie’ amongst his friends.
Well, they don’t say it loud, but the Jack is finally out! It’s now a well-documented secret that certain media houses deliberately ganged up with the culprit and his masters to downplay this potentially damning racial incident that unfolded right in front of their eyes.
The ugly incident attracted mixed reactions from the public, including the powerful and influential Swapo Youth League (SPYL) and the National Sports Commission (NSC), who all sought an explanation from the rugby governing body, the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU).
Sensing danger and the subsequent repercussions for their player’s error of judgment, his club, Wanderers, acted swiftly and suspended the short-fused Coetzee for a period of three years from all forms of organised rugby after the club found the player guilty of serious misconduct.
What really puzzles the mind is that Wanderers only acted after its agitated principal sponsor FNB Namibia sought answers to the reported racial incident, while the NRU is yet to pronounce itself on this ugly debacle, despite directives from the country’s sports controlling body, NSC, to do so.
Yours truly has it on good authority that FNB Namibia has in the meantime resolved to temporarily withhold funding to the ‘White Stallions’, until such time the club extends a comprehensive formal public apology to the aggrieved player, his team and the South African Rugby Union (SARU), as well as the rugby loving public at large for Kwaaitjie’s unbecoming behaviour.
Now, the fundamental question that needs to be raised is this: given the secrecy and apparent reluctance with which Wanderers handled the matter, would they have hauled the foul-mouthed Kwaaitjie before a disciplinary hearing had the incident not been reported in the media. I’m just asking.
Nevertheless, Kudos to Wanderers for the bold decision to ground Coetzee. He is a total disgrace to the entire Namibian sports fraternity, rugby in particular.
However, the NRU cannot pretend as if this is just a club versus player issue. It has a moral obligation to intervene by conducting its own investigation and imposing sanctions if need be, since the player has already been found guilty by his club.
Blatant racism is rife in Namibian sports, it’s just that people don’t want to talk about it.
Our national cricket team is a classic example. Those at the hierarchy of Namibian cricket have mastered the art of using dark-skinned cricketers as political pawns to colour-code their dodgy team selections in a desperate bid to escape sanctions, while having no intention whatsoever to field the boys in their starting lineup.
I rest my case.