Retief quick to back Skinstad

2012-04-24 12:11

Cape Town - Dan Retief, one of South Africa’s pre-eminent sports journalists, has jumped to the defence of former Springbok captain Bob Skinstad after the latter's use of the word 'coconut' while commentating on a Super Rugby match.

VIDEO: Lelia Masaga tackles Lwazi Mvovo

Skinstad apologised on Monday for using the term in the match between the Sharks and Chiefs in Durban on Saturday.

Skinstad used the word after Chiefs wing Lelia Masaga clashed heads with Sharks opponent Lwazi Mvovo while attempting to field a high ball. Both players were injured and left the field.

"Lelia Masaga has gone head high in an absolute coconut tackle straight onto Lwazi Mvovo and tried to take his head off," Skinstad said at the time.

Later Skinstad tweeted that he had misunderstood the meaning after former Chiefs loose forward Scott Waldrom tweeted: "Does the SA commentator know that the term 'coconut tackle' is actually a derogatory term?"

Skinstad replied: "Heard the term and thought it meant aiming for the 'nut' - no harm meant sorry."

Retief on Monday took to Twitter and wrote: Have to feel for Bob Skinstad, to infer that he is racist is way off the mark - in fact one of the most socially sensitive Boks I dealt with.

Retief went on to add that: Kitch Christie also got into hot water for 'coconut tackle' after the 1/4 final against Samoa at Ellis Park in 95 - Pat Lam was their captain.

Click HERE to follow Dan Retief on Twitter

Click HERE to follow Bob Skinstad on Twitter


  • Maaifoedie - 2012-04-24 12:19

    In South Africa the term coconut is used to allege that a black person has “white” sentiments; i.e. black outside but white inside. That is clearly not what Bob meant and the whole thing is a storm in a teacup.

  • marnusmnorval - 2012-04-24 12:19

    Dan Retief just want his face on the big screen.. It is over. Let it go

      marnusmnorval - 2012-04-24 14:05

      I agree. BoB said he is sorry..Now he is just extending the problem. Sigh. When I heard coconut I didnt think oh Bob you bloody racist, I immediately thought yeah that was one nutty tackle

  • Brandewijn - 2012-04-24 12:20

    I heard him say coconut tackle during the game and I thought he meant high tackle - I actualy found the comment funny. Never did it even cross my mind that he was being racist. I think they are making something out of nothing.

      Felix - 2012-04-24 13:16

      They are trying to sway attention away from the illegal tackle itself. I see there were no repercussions for the coconut tackle after all. What a joke, guess the 'jaapies' are still dealing with biased administration.

      marnusmnorval - 2012-04-24 14:10

      What exactly was wrong with the tackle?? Yes it was stupid but it wasn't high, and he did use his arms

      goyougoodthing - 2012-04-24 18:56

      AGree Felix - the tackle was enough for a ban - if that were Bakkies - career over!

  • JohnRambo1723 - 2012-04-24 12:25

    WTF??? Why would coconut tackle refer to the person, and not the tackle? High tackle, spear tackle, dump tackle, diving tackle, coconut tackle - get it???

      EJ - 2012-04-24 14:46

      because hes referring to the ethnicity of the person making the tackle which in the case was Masanga.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-04-24 15:14

      @EJ, sigh, no he wasn't refering to the ethnicity of the person...

      EJ - 2012-04-25 13:17

      this the view of the kiwis/islanders hence for the media circus over it. People need to understand that something that is considered nothing or harmless here is viewed as offensive elsewhere. Get it?

  • bainsworth93 - 2012-04-24 12:45

    Seriously. What a mountain out of nothing. Honest mistake. Who cares

      Raymond - 2012-04-25 14:18

      Not even a mistake!

  • Herman - 2012-04-24 12:49

    Man, people are such "sensitive" pathetic creatures. It was a coconut tackle and nothing more, no racism or derogative remark was intended. This happens when pathetic people becomes insecure.

      NrGx - 2012-04-24 12:55

      Precisely, the people who are finding "racism" in a commonly used term in rugby are just highlighting their own racist tendencies.

  • Paddy - 2012-04-24 14:57

    Does anyone out there know any words which may be used these days which do not have some racial undertones?

      richard.hipkin - 2012-04-24 15:17

      Nope, you kinda just gotta fly with it and apologise later..

      Derrick - 2012-04-24 21:59

      I believe ''the'' & "and" is okay- ''it'' is dodgy

  • Shayne - 2012-04-24 15:53

    What a waste of data,, why is this even on the news??

  • Mathew - 2012-04-24 15:53

    Build a bridge

  • Brendon - 2012-04-24 19:17

    Go read Planet Rugby's viewer post's in their column "Loose Pass"

  • Cheslin - 2012-04-24 20:45

    What a crock of crap. Clearly Bob meant nothing offensive by it. End of story. Bob`s an insightful and entertaining commentator aand pundit. Leave off. Geez, this is pure BS.

  • Eduard - 2012-04-25 05:21

    all these racist comments and sensitive people need to go and eat bananas

  • Christopher - 2012-04-25 06:13

    I want to know if Masaga got cited for that tackle? He broke Mvovo's nose so that means the tackle was just a little high... or is my reasoning off?

  • Raymond - 2012-04-25 14:19

    Hey Scott Waldrom ~ Would like some salt and vinegar with those chips on your shoulder

  • bloedisblou - 2012-04-25 14:54

    ha ha, dis stirrer en saffa se gunsteling posisie!!

  • Thomas - 2012-04-25 16:20

    I thought coconuts grew in trees how did it become racial?

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