South Africa Rugby is using Saturday’s Rugby Championship opener in Johannesburg between the Springboks and Australia to launch a fresh campaign against racism and all forms of discrimination.
The campaign is the outcome of a collaboration with the South African Human Rights Commission to address a societal issue that finds expression in all environments – including sporting events.
SA Rugby’s response follows an instance of racial abuse at a Springbok Test match in 2018. “This campaign is to demonstrate rugby’s commitment to eradicating all forms of discriminations in the game,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby.
“We do not tolerate discrimination and racism in our team and working environments but these attitudes are a fact of life the world over and we want to shine a light on instances of such behaviour that may occur at our rugby grounds and stadiums in order to be part of the movement for change.
“The Springboks and our other national teams are powerful South African ambassadors who stand for the best of our country and they are united against discrimination and racism. We want to put that stance on public display.”
— Springboks (@Springboks) July 19, 2019
The campaign, called RADAR (Rugby against Discrimination and Racism), will be visible during Saturday’s Test match with banners, signage, programme advertisements, ground announcements and messages from players in due course.
SA Rugby has for the first time also created a dedicated channel where complaints may be laid. Incidents can be reported to firstname.lastname@example.org for investigation and potential sanction.
'Every time I was with people and they talked about rugby, I’d walk to the side and just cry.'
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) July 13, 2019
Cases will be heard by an independent panel of legal experts. Individuals who are identified and found guilty face suspension or banning from rugby, potentially for life.
“We are united as a sport in our disgust at discriminatory and racist behaviour. We will take action when it is exposed,” said Roux.
WATCH: Episode three of the RugbyPass Rugby Explorer series where Jim Hamilton takes a trek through South African rugby
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