Siya Kolisi catches heat on Twitter for transformation comments
Springbok captain Siya Kolisi received backlash on Twitter for saying that Nelson Mandela would have not supported quotas.
Kolisi made the comments during an interview with Kyodo News in Japan after being asked what he thinks former president Mandela would have said about transformation quotas in rugby.
"I don't think he would have supported that. I think you shouldn't put a number on stuff like that," he said.
Kolisi said transformation should start at a grassroots level in township schools. "Imagine if I did not go to an English school. I wouldn't have been eating properly, I wouldn't have grown properly, and I wouldn't have had the preparation that the other boys did," he said.
Kolisi said transformation should also take place at local levels such as the Currie Cup. "In South Africa it's tough. We want results and we want transformation," he said.
"I wouldn't want to be picked because of my skin colour because that surely wouldn't be good for the team," he added.
Clearly, transformation remains one of the crucial debates in rugby. Despite being praised for pushing the transformation agenda since his appointment, Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus failed to reach his 45% target last year.
Social media users soon weighed in on the subject, with many criticising Kolisi for his comments on transformation, as well as his views on English schools making him a better player. Others felt the Springbok captain was simply misunderstood.
Fact: If it wasn't for the quotas, Siya Kolisi wouldn't have been captain of Boks. Eating well or not!— Mthemb'obhuzubhuzu (@Nomtha82) January 7, 2019
Guys Siya Kolisi your “Black Captain” says Mandela wouldn’t have approved of the quota system in Sports. Someone please remind Siya of our history and he should stop using Mandela’s name to impress people who are also against quota system.— Faatimah Shandu (@shanduVanN) January 7, 2019
Siya Kolisi "Imagine if I had not gone to an English (high) school. I would not have eaten properly, I would not have grown properly" we have many blacks who think like this Yazi. As for eaten properly, I am out of words #SiyaKolisi #blackpriviledge #Springboks pic.twitter.com/UNRfnr8mu4— lancelot mthobisi (@lmmfuphi) January 8, 2019
Siya Kolisi needs to know that ideally we shouldn't have or need a quota system. Such a policy is only implement when there is no natural or unforced redress of a previous injustice.— Land is Wealth (@SelokeFabiao) January 7, 2019
For now I'll take Siya Kolisi's comments as being misquoted or misunderstood. I refuse to believe that someone who should know how hard people fought to have him be a Springbok let alone captain it would brain fart like that.— Ndumiso Mbatha (@ndumisombatha_) January 7, 2019
I was proud of Siya Kolisi when he became captain,but after that statement I will like to take my pride back and reserve it for people who are pro black— Zwide ka Langa (@ThaboNxumalo6) January 7, 2019
When it comes to this quota system in the springboks team, I don't even care what Mandela would have said. I support it and Siya Kolisi is wrong— SiveWiso (@Sivzz_) January 7, 2019