Erasmus' social media presence under suspicion over a burner account
Springboks director of rugby Rassie Erasmus has been one of rugby’s high-profile adopters of social media, starting a Twitter account in the wake of South Africa’s successful World Cup campaign in 2019.
At first, the super coach shared behind-the-scenes snippets of the national camp, sharing inspirational speeches from inside the changing sheds to give fans a look into the man at the head of the Springboks.
In 2021, the coach has used the platform to voice his opinions and fire back at journalists over differences of opinion.
In the lead-up to the first test against the British and Irish Lions, the coach used his account to respond to Warren Gatland’s concerns over Faf de Klerk’s high shot in the South Africa ‘A’ clash.
He tweeted videos of tackles by Owen Farrell in the same match, asking for clarity over the Lions’ suspect shots as well in a passive-aggressive manner that shocked Warren Gatland.
Now the former coach and water boy is under suspicion for using a burner account – a fake profile used to voice opinions that one would be unwilling to express publicly – in order to highlight instances the Springboks were unhappy with in their series-opening defeat to the Lions on Saturday.
Rassie Erasmus using a burner account very badly is the best rugby story of the year so far.
— Jamie Wall (@JamieWall2) July 25, 2021
I mean, yes, it certainly seems like Rassie Erasmus is RTing his secret alt account and having a conversation with himself in the process… but what would I know about Rassie having conversations with Rassie?
— “Jaco Johan” (@joshgardner) July 25, 2021
In the wake of South Africa’s defeat to the Lions, Erasmus retweeted a video from an anonymous account that compiled a video of calls that went against the Springboks, replying to the account saying: “Thanks. This is rugby – sometimes calls go for you and other times they don’t”.
Other Twitter users began speculating that the account sharing the video was Rassie himself, using a burner account to air out his grievances and pretending to have a conversation with himself.
Thanks. This is rugby – sometimes calls go for you and other times they dont https://t.co/ONZp0uoWJF
— Rassie Erasmus (@RassieRugby) July 25, 2021
Popular YouTuber Squidge Rugby detailed the reasons why the suspicious account could be Rassie’s burner, one of which being the account had never tweeeted anything before responding to the head coach with the video compilation.
Additionally, the account had zero followers was able to access high-quality, un-watermarked footage that would be easily obtained by team management.
My favourite thing about this whole saga is how obvious it is that Jaco Johan is also Rassie. pic.twitter.com/OO7AdydCVR
— Squidge Rugby (@SquidgeRugby) July 25, 2021
The account had 0 followers and had never tweeted when he first RT’d it, and exclusively posts really high-quality and well-edited footage of controversial incidents Erasmus might want to bring to public light. The sheer, beautiful shithousery of it just makes me love him more.
— Squidge Rugby (@SquidgeRugby) July 25, 2021
Another user highlighted the account’s only activity over the five years since the account was created, 15 liked tweets, were all engagements with teams that Erasmus was involved with at the time.
bahahahaha 15 liked tweets and they’re all from teams he was involved with at the time ffs ?? pic.twitter.com/iMQ8M2QVMX
— J (@boy_barkley) July 25, 2021
Fans on the thread were not impressed with Erasmus’ two-faced approach of retweeting the video but still parading around like he was taking the high ground.
This ugly episode comes after Erasmus had praised the Lions for their win on his official account, declaring their were “no excuses” and praising the opposition for their win.
One user wrote, “This is embarrassing from SA Rugby”, while others saw right through the shielded approach from Erasmus to try and highlight various instances from the match.
This is truly embarrassing from SA rugby. You lost, accept it and get back to the drawing board and come back stronger next week.
— Guff Roberts (@GuffRoberts) July 25, 2021
“But I’m definitely not highlighting them by quoting the tweet and hoping we get the officials onside next week. I am still being gracious in defeat”
— John (@JWebs_11) July 25, 2021
@hull_sieff @CharlieJEllis @andyrobinson110 “Thanks you totally reputable and identifiable source, I’ll just helpfully draw visibility to your theory but carefully distance myself from the sentiment to maintain the higher ground”
— David Macfarlane ??? (@DigitalDaveMac) July 25, 2021
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