White-washing the history of black rugby
Were it not for a handful of sports historians, the long and proud tradition of competitive black rugby in South Africa may have been lost to history. More than a game, but a political statement too, it dates as far back as the late 1800s
Rassie Erasmus’s Springboks are inspirational. A team of all races, languages and backgrounds who have each other’s backs, no matter what. Even the most hardened cynics agree that if South Africa were run on the same lines as our rugby team, we would be a force to be reckoned with.
But amid euphoric coverage of the national side there’s an unwritten assumption that black South Africans have only recently taken to the oval ball. Or, as the game is called in Xhosa, umbhoxo — “the thing that is not round”. ..
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