Netball captain Bongiwe Msomi: no black players feel marginalised in Proteas
Netball Proteas captain Bongiwe Msomi says none of the black players in the current senior national team would say they feel marginalised or ill-treated because of their skin colour.
Msomi‚ who led the Proteas to a fourth place finish at the International Netball Federation (INF) World Cup in England last year‚ was talking as she put her weight behind Black Lives Matter (BLM).
Over the past few months‚ the BLM movement has gained global and local momentum with a majority of sport stars from various codes and across races supporting the cause.
“I like experiencing progress and I always think it is best for the future. I can proudly say that amongst all the black players in the Spar Proteas‚ none of them would say they feel marginalised or ill-treated because of their skin colour because we all matter‚” she said.
“The leadership group‚ including myself‚ have had several meetings with Netball SA (NSA) highlighting a few things that we the Spar Proteas need to look at going forward.”
Msomi said she feels respected as a leader by all the players in her team. She said issues of discrimination need to be addressed if they happen at lower levels of the game.
“I personally feel respected and valued in our space and I return that treatment to each and every player in the team‚” she said.
“Unfortunately‚ all that goes on or happens in provinces and districts needs to be addressed there as well so we all have a smooth-running netball family.”
Msomi spoke about a few incidents where she was on the receiving end of unfair treatment in the team or in life because of the colour of her skin.
“We black people sometimes do treat white people differently to how we treat other blacks‚” she said.
“I have been in a situation where I needed assistance at a hospital from a black lady with my mom and I had to wait. Right at that space‚ a white man came with more or less the same request and was assisted immediately.
“And I am sure many out there have had such as experiences. Random situations where I had to say ‘sorry I didn’t hear’‚ but the conversation or coaching was in Afrikaans‚ which used to be a norm.
“A few times at camp we black players will talk in our own languages‚ mainly in isiZulu‚ only to realise later that a white player did not understand.
“A few times‚ a group decision would favour white players mainly because they are the majority in the team and we would just have to accept and go along with it.”