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Thursday, December 22, 2005


Other Sport: Call for life bans after Kaffir slurs

Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Picture: Touchline
By Alex Brown and Chloe Saltau
December 22, 2005

SOUTH African cricket's most influential figure, Ali Bacher, has called on the International Cricket Council to ban racist fans for life in the wake of the Perth Test, during which several Proteas players were branded "Kaffirs" and "Kaffir brothers" by sections of the WACA Ground crowd.

Bacher - who captained South Africa at the time of their exclusion from international competition, organised rebel tours through the apartheid years and was instrumental in leading the Proteas back to the world stage as chief executive - insisted racist crowd members deserved "no leniency" from cricket's authorities.

"With our background, and with all we have achieved in the new South Africa, this behaviour is abhorrent," Bacher told the Herald from South Africa last night. "One can only strongly suggest that in this situation, the strongest penalty should be handed out to those responsible. I don't think a life ban would be out of place."

Bacher's anger was echoed by South Africa's first black Test cricketer, Makhaya Ntini, who said he was deeply wounded by the racial taunts directed at him and four other teammates on Sunday.

Ntini, Shaun Pollock, Ashwell Prince, Garnett Kruger and Justin Kemp were branded "Kaffirs" and "Kaffir brothers" on Sunday - derogatory terms used to describe black people and their white associates during the apartheid era.

The offending crowd members were not evicted from the ground - apparently because stadium staff were unaware the terms were offensive to South Africans - although security measures were tightened.

Cricket Australia officials later reiterated the body's zero-tolerance racism policy, warning that any similar crowd outbursts this season would result in automatic ejection.

Australia's captain Ricky Ponting, CA officials and International Cricket Council chief executive Malcolm Speed were among those yesterday to denounce the racist taunts. But none of their criticisms possessed the deep, personal anger of Bacher and Ntini, all too aware of their country's past sins and current efforts for reconciliation.

"When it comes to the racial point of view, that's a different story," Ntini told the Herald. "Those are the words we don't want to hear. It's absolutely uncalled for and it's unbearable. We are united now, we are singing one song and we play sport with one heart.

"You just look at the person and say … 'You can swear to me, you can tell me my mum is a so-and-so', but when it comes to those words, nobody can take it."

"We are very happy that Cricket Australia and the ICC are taking a stand."

Initial reports suggested the abuse came from Perth-based expatriate South Africans. However, the Proteas players are adamant the racial taunts emanated from a predominantly Australian section of the crowd.

Infuriated by the heckling, the players informed team managers who, in turn, approached the match referee, Chris Broad, and John Rhodes, the regional head of the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit.

Security guards were dispersed to the boundary to monitor the crowd and protect the players - measures that will remain in place at international venues for the rest of the summer.

Under ICC regulations, national boards are instructed to print the council's anti-racist statement on tickets and/or posters at stadium entrances. Additionally, stadium staff are instructed to take action at the first sign of racial abuse from the crowd and remind them that their "… comments and actions will result in ejection from the ground and possible further action".

"I would hope that all cricket fans in Australia will support Cricket Australia's efforts to avoid a repeat of this behaviour," said Speed. "The fact that this is an isolated incident by a small number of people in one country does not lessen the game's resolve to address the issue."

There was racial trouble on the first day of the match, too, when ground officials ejected a small group in the crowd who held up a sign that racially vilified the Lebanese community; an unwelcome reminder of the recent Cronulla riots. Those fans were ejected from the ground.

Ponting expressed dismay that an Australian crowd needed to be warned about racism, saying: "It's disappointing - neither myself nor any of the players knew anything about this matter until a fair while after the game last night, but it's disappointing to think that would have happened.

"It's something Cricket Australia certainly don't condone and the players are very much aware of this sort of stuff not happening, so it's disappointing that a small part of the crowd would ruin what was otherwise a pretty intense and a good day of Test-match cricket. There is no room for racism in sport whatsoever. The players are all very aware of that."

Gerald Majola, chief executive of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, was similarly disturbed by the Perth incident.

"We hope that this will not happen again, and appeal to all to abide by the ICC's anti-racism policy," he said.

Frankly I don't buy it that expats were not involved.

Australians might know the 'K' word from movies like Mel Gibson's Lethal Weapon II but they wouldn't know the 'K-boetie' terminology.

It's bad enough that black South African players were subjected to the 'K' word, it's appalling that it might have been by South Africans who moved abroad to Australia and then are abusing fellow South Africans in such a manner from a foreign country.

I'm sure this could only have been a small element of the crowd but it has kicked up a right storm.
That was my first thoughts as well, rasputin. Expats who shout all these terms to the players. Still, I feel that it might be a case of over reacting. These guys might have been drunk. They might not have been, but as you said, it was probably only a small section of the crowd. Kick their arse out of there, but lets not brand all Aussie fans as racists. That's my only fear with news coverage like this is getting. That it does more harm than good.

Must say, I feel sorry for a guy like Makhaya, when he was first included in the squad, everyone was shouting,"Quota". Then he went to the nets and coaches and worked day and night to prove the critics wrong. He now deserves to be our front line bowler and has deserved for the last few years allready. To now go through something like this again is bad. Anyway, I'm sure our players will get up and kick their arses! Now that was wishfull thinking!

"Maak die Titans almal Proteas!!!!!"
Having read through the Spears post, I have just decided that Tony Mckeever is Ruggaworlds own Tackler. Not an arsehole like our dear friend, but defintely generates hits just like that plonker from NZ!  
Eish, slow day at the office and no one at ruggaworld what can I do to keep me busy. AHA, I've got it, I'm gonna work on a small humour article. Just wondering if I should sen it to someone on ruggaworld or post it on oranjeorkale myself. And I have no idea what to write about. Any suggestions?  
it is deeply disappointing i must say.

i guess we must guard, like aldo said, against branding all aussies under this banner.

like keo, some really thick afrikaners post some stupid shit, and our reaction is usually to brand the group, in general, under one banner, i.e. afrikaners are thick dutchmen. same goes for the coloured or black idiots that finds something racist in posts about predicting scores.

so yes, we should not brand all aussies as racist - but i hope that the aussies, and with this i dont mean the captain, president, ACC, ICC and the likes, more the Aussie public takes a stand against shit like this.

that when you sit in a section of a crowd and you hear something like this - you immediately let the authorities know - and even the git shouting - that he/she is a f$3ckin disgrace to australia and humanity in general.

Write about the Sharks chances to win the S14....

I'm here and feeling similarly lonely...

Personally I'm a bit ticked off at the South Africans for letting this get to them. One would have expected a tough guy like Graham Smith to have used an incident like this to galvanise the team to action. And for Mac Ntini, he is a toughened hardened veteran and I believe he should have said something like ...right you racist sonofabitch I'll show you what a k***er can do....and make the Australian team pay for the crap spewed by their crowds...

In fact the South Africans should take those slurs and put them up on the walls of the dressing room in Sydney and tell the black ploayers this is what the Australians think of go out and show them a little bit of what a k***er can do to a batting line-up.... and to Gibbs and Prince ....go show these sonofabitch racist shackle draggers what a k****er can do to the world's so-called best bowlers.

Steve Waugh used to say he loved it when the South African crowds jeered him because it just got him more determined to shut them up and stay there.

Our black players should use this incident to do the same to galvanise the passion of the team...
agreed davidS, but not only the black pould use this to motivate themselves and that nothing will come btwn the team...  
I agree Davids, nothing like some sledging to spur a team on. Kind of like Heynecke Meyer putting Keo's articles on the changing room walls before the Stormers Bulls game this year. look what that lead to!!!

lol on the Sharks chances!
Speaking of Warne, I think he must be one of the ultimate sportsmen around. He is a hardarsed mother fucker on the field. But also shows good sportsmanship of the field. Like the way he shook Rudolphs hand at the end of the last test and told him what an awesome innings he'd played. And he used to go for a beer with Jonty and the guys after tests. This is what testmatch cricket should be like, give each other all the shit on the field and call each other names, but after the game you go for a couple of beers and you acknowledge something good.

Our First team cricket coach used to drill us for hours on end on how to be a gentleman on the field. Give each other shit, but acknowledge when a bowler has just beaten you with a great delivery. Nothing wrong with telling him to fetch it after you've hit him for a four or a six, but also tell him when you've had no idea where the last ball went!
Ja wpw

The management should tell the team that they are k**ers and k***erboeties and now go out there and show these foul mouthed shackle draggers what k**ers and k***erboeties can do to a team of convicts...

This is an opportunity to galvanise team unity and actually set a massive goal of making the Australian team pay fro this...the same way Ireland used Jake White's wide yapping gab of "No Irish are good enough to play for the Boks" line to galvanise themselves to beat us last year...
I, too, agree with you, David.

I'm getting a very nervous feeling about cricketers in SA. They appear to be very frail mentally these days.

The behaviour of these minority fans was abominable but hardly cause to start wringing hands and whingeing to the Pope.

I'm taking a little pleasure from seeing the Aussies squirm but I certainly don't hold 'Australia' responsible for a handful of lagered up 'idjits'.

I'm seeing signs of the SA cricket management only too keen to withdraw into a victim laager instead of using these types of incidents to dig deeper, stand taller, get the South African fighting spirit up.

Players like Clive Rice, Garth le Roux, Fanie de Villiers, Brian McMillan etc. would have thrived in this atmosphere.

It's the team management's responsibility to get these guys into the 'right zone' mentally. Running around acting like victims shouldn't be the SA way.
Ja Rasp

Pity we don't have a Ray Jennings there to get his back up and use an incident like this to galvanise team spirit...because boy would he have used this to gee up the boys big time.

I think Graham Smith would have to, but I don't know what kind of coach Micky Artheur is except that he was a so-so opener at Freestate in the days when Joubert Strydom skippered them.

I know he coached the Border to the Pro 20 final with a so-so team, but still I agree that there seems to be whingeing rather a show of steel coming from the camp.

Maybe if we win at Melbourne we'll find out that this is what they did.

I know one thing for sure.

Guys like Malcolm Marshall, Curtley Ambroce. Courtney Walsh, Wes Hall and Clive Loydd would have taken one glinting look at the offending yapper and bounced the Australian batsman right then and there viciously...using those remarks to galvanise the teram to make the Aussie team pay for their crowd's impertinent remarks....

Who knows...maybe that's exactly what helped Kemp and Rudolph deliver and stick around...
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