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The 'shut up by people in powerful positions' Erasmus retweet

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Springboks World Cup winner Rassie Erasmus has celebrated the expiry of his hefty World Rugby ban by attending Saturday’s URC win by the Stormers over Edinburgh in Cape Town. It was Friday, September 30, when the lengthy stadium suspension brandished last November by the game’s global governing body ran out.


The South African director of rugby had been charged with misconduct for his behaviour towards match officials during the 2021 Test series against the British and Irish Lions. Included in the resulting punishment was a ban from all match-day activities – including coaching, contact with match officials, and media engagement until the end of September.

Erasmus, who will be back at work with the Springboks on match day when their European tour opens in Dublin versus Ireland on November 5, posted a tweet advertising his in-person return to live rugby this Saturday.

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“October 1 it is, so far South African teams all good in round three of URC. See you guys at the Stormers match at the DHL Stadium. Lekka,” he wrote, but it was his subsequent retweet of a reply to this post that most piqued the interest, Erasmus writing: “This one more sense than the goat (greatest of all time).”

The interesting post that Erasmus, the 2019 World Cup-winning coach with the Springboks, was replying to came from a fan called Paul. It read: “All of us that know the real you understand the real sacrifices you made to try and give all South Africans equal opportunities #StrongerTogether.”

This Twitter text from Paul was accompanied by a written note that was critical of World Rugby and the decision it took against Erasmus last November. “Rassie must be the only person in the modern era to be punished because he took a stance by standing up for the first and only black World Cup-winning captain in the history of rugby union. That angers me.


“It frightens me that the feelings and perceptions of a white professional official in a position of power is considered and truly milked to the last drop, whilst the impact on a respected black hero and teammates are completely ignored and dismissed.

“Nic Berry must be the only person in the digital era who believes he was humiliated and discredited because Rassie stated the obvious, as if the rugby community across the world did not already have the knowledge and evidence on their phones, computers and televisions. That insults me.

“It scares me that the validity of Rassie’s facts and arguments are dismissed by focussing on subjective perceptions such as mannerisms, tone and intention. Rassie is sadly not the only person who has been shut up by people in powerful positions in this way because they did not like the message. That saddens me.”


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