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Black Men Can't Scrum? (30 September 2008)

Written by TVSA Team from the blog Special Assignment on 30 Sep 2008
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On Special Assignment this week:

Episode Title: Black Men Can't Scrum?
Date: Tuesday, 30 September, 2008
Time: 21h30
Channel: SABC 3

Barely had the national euphoria died down after the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis trophy in France last year, than a number of scandals rocked the sport back home.

Charges of racism have been levelled against various 'sectors' of the sport, from fans, to players, to officials, to coaches and administrators. Earlier this year, a black female fan was assaulted and racially abused at a match. Weeks later, the Soweto rugby union publicly announced its withdrawal from the Golden Lions rugby union, also citing alleged racial abuse of its members by not only supporters of rival teams, but from white players.

Tonight Special Assignment investigates these allegations - asking whether racism is being applied as a one-size-fits all label for complex issues - or whether there is a real, deeply-entrenched bias against black players of the sport in the country; a legacy of our past and the game's associations with white Afrikanerdom.

The show speaks to former players, current players and rugby administrators - who have been accused of empty gestures - like the 'no to racism shirt' initiative by sarfu, in a bid to address the problem of racism.

Then there are those who are calling for tougher action against errant clubs and supporters; such as fines and match bans.

The programme is told through the eyes of two die-hard rugby fans, one from a white, conservative Afrikaner town in the Free State, and the other from the soccer-mad black township of Shoshanguve outside Pretoria.

Then there are the young black teenagers who aspire to be the next Brian Habana or Tendai Mtaiwarira; they speak of how they are determined to play the sport, despite what others have already concluded; that rugby is not the black man's game.

The documentary is produced by Peter Moyo and Busi Ntuli.


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