Johannesburg - Springbok winger Makazole Mapimpi has set the record straight after a video was construed to demonstrate racism on the part of a group of Bok players who huddled together, excluding him.
The video went viral on social media after the Boks resounding 49-3 victory against Italy at the Rugby World Cup. Some on social media construed the video of Mapimpi walking away from a group of white Springbok bench players who had huddled after the win as racist.
The players who had huddled all started the match from the bench, Mapimpi clarified in an Instagram video. The players are Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, RG Snyman, Franco Mostert, Francois Louw and Frans Steyn.
Taking to his Instagram channel to explain the furore, Mapimpi poured cold water on the race claims and said the team was united.
Speaking in a mixture of isiXhosa and English, he assured rugby fans that the team was united and said he did not huddle with the bomb squad - who all started the game from the bench, because he was on the starting 15.
“Listen guys, I saw the video trending on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. (So what happens is) in the team we have what we call the bomb squad. These are the players that start the game from the bench and enter in the second half, or whatever.
“They have their calls and their spirit as the bomb squad. So what you saw yesterday, what happened is that normally after the games we shake hands with the players and the team we were playing.
“The bomb squad was together to do their call and I was walking towards them and I realised they were about to do their call and I walked away, because I am not part of the bomb squad. There is nothing wrong. We are one,” he said.
On Twitter, The hashtag #Mapimpi was trending in the early morning on Saturday, with most horrified at the levels of ‘racism’ within the world cup squad. Some of those who defended the ‘bomb squad’ were lynched as defenders of white people.
We can't tolerate racism in our rugby squad, see for yourself 🏉🏉🏉😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/HylkXnaE67— KE SHARP (@danielmarven) October 4, 2019
I've watched this clip a dozen times over and I'm convinced there's something shady going on. Frans Steyn knowingly shut Mapimpi out, and flicks his hand at the end chasing him away. There's no way this is innocent. https://t.co/1h9uGXzogm— Former Wu-Tang Clan Member (@somveli_bayanda) October 4, 2019
Check out Mapimpi at end. Boks gave a serious racist element. This sucks!! pic.twitter.com/3MQibNvAa3— Nasir Khan (@kublaikhan99) October 4, 2019
They even have Mapimpi standing alone on the team sheet. Sickening. pic.twitter.com/kfxwYVy28I— Sbuerry Henry (@SbuTheGooner_) October 5, 2019
On his instagram, some commented that he should stop defending the indefensible.