Rassie Erasmus
Rassie Erasmus

World Rugby’s leadership should be cancelled

By Mark Keohane Time of article published Nov 19, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - A white coach stands up for his black captain against a white referee and World Rugby fines the black captain and tries to take the white coach out of the game with an immediate ban.

The white referee continues to officiate in Test matches.

The bigots who rule at World Rugby should be cancelled. Forget the attack on SA Rugby’s National Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, for a moment and digest that World Rugby’s paid-for consultant independents ruled against Springbok captain Siya Kolisi for stating he felt disrespected when asked the question if he felt disrespected for the way in which Australian referee Nic Berry treated him in the first Test between the British & Irish Lions and Springboks in Cape Town.

World Rugby has accepted an “independent committee’s” recommendation to ban Rassie Erasmus from all rugby for two months, and from any interaction with the Boks on match days until September 2022. It has also agreed that Siya Kolisi was wrong in telling his truth.

Australian referee Nic Berry, who got 26 decisions wrong in 35 minutes of ball in play, continues to officiate in Test matches. The prejudice, the bigotry and the obvious bias is shameless from World Rugby.

Was World Rugby’s leadership not watching what was going on in English cricket this week?

In a week when all of English cricket is being shamed and disgraced for inherent racism that the racists can’t even recognise is racist behaviour, World Rugby’s very white and very northern-based white leadership, led by former British & Irish Lions and England captain Bill Beaumont, seconded and merited a finding to be delivered publicly three days before the world champion Springboks happened to play England at Twickenham, in a match all of England rugby have describe as the biggest of the year.

The timing is obviously predictable. The bias and prejudice are as obvious and, in this one moment of absolute white supremacist stupidity, World Rugby has shown itself to be an old boys club that will continue to promote prejudice and racism. The club must be cancelled forever.

World Rugby keeps on insisting it is anti-racism, but at the first challenge it happily supports a finding that punishes a world champion black international captain and rewards a white match official who treats white and black captains differently, and then bans a white coach who stands up and defends his black captain.

Berry was disgusting in his disrespect towards Siya Kolisi, as was his patronising interaction with Kolisi in that first Test. Go and watch the match video and you can’t but be offended. Berry, who believes he is the victim, gets rewarded with continued match appointments in Test rugby. Kolisi gets fined for answering a question at a press conference.

World Rugby had four months to address the complaints of Rassie Erasmus and its counter-argument of him bringing the game into disrepute. They waited until three days before the Springboks play England at Twickenham to release their findings.

Obviously, these findings will be appealed, but nothing can be done in the next three days before the Test as Beaumont and the English hope it will derail the Boks’ preparations for Saturday.

How crass of Beaumont and how shameful of the white World Rugby leadership.

They should be cancelled, and in an ideal world the Springboks would have already been on a plane home.

World Rugby is outdated in everything it does, as is the notion that incompetent or prejudiced match officials can’t be challenged.

It is time for the Springboks, the current world champions and the world’s No 1 team, to give World Rugby the two fingers.

Wednesday night’s World Rugby release was disgusting, but not nearly as disgusting as the finding of an all-New Zealand bunch of consultants who fined a black international captain for speaking out about his experience against the bias and obvious prejudice of a white referee.

And further banned the white South African coach who refused to accept how his captain was treated and how his team was prejudiced by either refereeing incompetence or blatant cheating.

Cape Times

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