“White men can’t jump”
Well, so says white basketball hustler Billy Hoyle (so splendidly played by Woody Harrelson in the movie) - who banks on black players underestimating his skills on the court.
Why, because the NBA is 74.4% black.
Yet the American population is 77.7% white.
Hurry, let’s get Fikile Mbalula across to the land of the free. Perhaps he could fight for basketball to be more representative of the population, and then it could be called the Basketball World Champs, and countries outside of the USA would actually have a chance!
Well, here’s the deal - black guys are just better than white guys at basketball.
And, swoon, white people still go to games to support their team every week!
Would it really be so terribly tragic if it turned out that white guys are just better than black guys at rugby?
Yes of course we need to give every single South African the chance to play rugby, but that is a very different concept to just ordering every national team to be representative of the country’s demographics!
Much cleverer people than me have provided clear transformation definitions, but all Mbalula has done with his political grandstanding this week, is prove that he and the ANC are about chasing colour, and NOT equal opportunities for all.
Simply put - it's racism being used to “rectify” a previous racism.
Perhaps his aim is to prove that two wrongs can actually make a right?
And by moving away from merit based selections to ones of good old fashioned window dressing, is he not actually accusing the current selectors and coaches of being racist? That’s a massive call ...
Of course I will be labelled racist for even thinking of challenging this thinking, but who is the actual racist here?
Transformation and excellence are NOT mutually exclusive. Window dressing and excellence are, though.
Transformation is about broadening the talent pool and offering that pool an equal opportunity to achieve said excellence. Not creating a sense of entitlement like the ANC has done in order to curry votes from those unlikely to interact with the mainstream media.
And one has to wonder why the ruling party keeps harping on the race card?
My 8-year-old son cannot wait to play cricket with his coloured mate before school, steal his white mate’s sarmie at lunch, and then sell a dummy to his black mate at Tag after school.
“Can you get me Siya’s autograph please dad” he asked me on the weekend. Race is just not part of his vocabulary. It’s just not.
Yet here we have a government and sports minister forcing race back into every day dialogue, including that of my eight-year-old. Why?
Easy political points in an election year perhaps?
In a paper prepared by Abdul Minty on behalf of the ANC that was presented to the United Nations as a reason for countries to boycott all SA sport because of apartheid in the 1980’s, Minty said: “Human beings should not be willing partners in perpetuating a system of racial discrimination. Sportsmen have a special duty in this regard in that they should be first to insist that merit, and merit alone, be the criterion for selecting teams for representative sport.”
Only worth preaching when it suits you?
Tank Lanning is a former Western Province prop and vociferous tweeter from @frontrowgrunt.Disclaimer: Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.