Special News Series: Rising Up For Justice! – Black Lives Matter forces South African sports to face racist past

Introduction To This Series:

This post is one installment in an ongoing news series: a “living history” of the current national and international uprising for justice.

Today’s movement descends directly from the many earlier civil rights struggles against repeated injustices and race-based violence, including the killing of unarmed Black people. The posts in this series serve as a timeline of the uprising that began on May 26, 2020, the day after a Minneapolis police officer killed an unarmed Black man, George Floyd, by kneeling on his neck. The viral video of Floyd’s torturous suffocation brought unprecedented national awareness to the ongoing demand to truly make Black Lives Matter in this country.

The posts in this series focus on stories of the particular killings that have spurred the current uprising and on the protests taking place around the USA and across the globe. Sadly, thousands of people have lost their lives to systemic racial, gender, sexuality, judicial, and economic injustice. The few whose names are listed here represent the countless others lost before and since. Likewise, we can report but a few of the countless demonstrations for justice now taking place in our major cities, small towns, and suburbs.

To view the entire series of Rising Up for Justice! posts, insert “rising up” in the search bar above.

Black Lives Matter forces South African sports to face racist past

Opportunities have been scarce for Black players across a wide range of sports, despite the end of Apartheid.

By Renee G, The Grio

September 6, 2020

Rugby Union – Premiership – Harlequins v Sale Sharks – Twickenham Stoop, London, Britain – August 14, 2020 Sale Sharks’ Marland Yarde and Tom Curry kneel during a moments reflection against racism before the match. Image/Andrew Boyers/File Photo

The Black Lives Matter movement has forced South African sports to take a hard look at its post-apartheid history and the dissension between former teammates in a county still trying to heal from its racist past.

BLM has shined a light on how people of color are treated around the world, and in South Africa the focal point is the sports world.

Image: Vanguard

The debate has led to the acknowledgement that opportunities have been scarce for Black players across a wide range of sports, despite the end of Apartheid, a system of racial segregation that existed in South African from 1948 until the earl 1990s. 

The inequities between white and Black players has been a heated discussion that jeopardizes amicable relationships between current teammates as well as former teammates from an older generation, according to Reuters.

Showing support of BLM, South Africa’s World Cup-winning former rugby captain, Francois Pienaar took a knee before a cricket match in July, and was criticized by his former teammates who felt his position linked them to being in support of BLM as well.

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