Take away Bok em­blem

The Star Late Edition - - LETTERS -

Dear Min­is­ter Mbalula,

As a pas­sion­ate and long­suf­fer­ing Spring­bok fan, I im­plore you to or­der the re­moval of the Spring­bok badge from the cur­rent crop of play­ers’ and coaches’ blaz­ers and jer­seys.

The cur­rent group of in­di­vid­u­als sim­ply do not de­serve to wear an em­blem that rep­re­sents courage, com­mit­ment, well-placed con­fi­dence and, most im­por­tantly, pa­tri­otic hon­our.

I must point out that mo­ti­va­tion on the sports field only hap­pens when play­ers feel con­fi­dent that they are part of a team that is made up of the best of the best.

My sug­ges­tion is that only win­ning teams and stand­out in­di­vid­u­als be awarded the priv­i­lege to wear this sym­bol – the same way that only coun­tries who have ac­tu­ally won a World Cup can wear the Webb El­lis badge on their jer­seys.

I feel for those for­mer play­ers who have that proud leap­ing Spring­bok em­broi­dered on var­i­ous “earned” blaz­ers and jer­seys, proudly dis­played in their homes or in rugby mu­se­ums and sta­di­ums around the world.

The class of 2015/2016 do not de­serve to wear that em­blem. And leg­endary coaches like Kitch Christie, Nick Mal­let, Jake White and Pi­eter de Vil­liers do not de­serve to have their le­git­i­macy cheap­ened by those who are clearly not of that stan­dard.

These play­ers are there now for quick cash, so­cial me­dia fame and brag­ging rights (al­though they don’t have much to brag about).

Pol­i­tics and poor coach­ing are play­ing a sig­nif­i­cant role in our rugby’s demise. So it makes sense to stop the award­ing of the Bok em­blem to any player or coach un­til they win a World Cup, achieve a grand slam over the home unions, or se­cure vic­tory over the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions.

That, dear min­is­ter, is the mark of a Spring­bok.

A true fan of proper Bok rugby,

Kyle Con­don

Jo­han­nes­burg

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