Dirk Lotriet
2 minute read
27 Sep 2019
6:20 am

Blind devotion, like nationalism, is a dangerous thing

Dirk Lotriet

International sport is not a war where warriors do battle against enemies for the honour of their country. It’s about building commonality, as Madiba taught us.

Springboks during the South African national men's rugby team photograph and captains press conference at Southern Sun Pretoria on August 16, 2019 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Gallo Images)

Many of my friends are mourning the Springboks’ defeat at the hands of the All Blacks last weekend. “I stand behind the Boks. People who don’t, should pack their bags and emigrate,” one told me. “I’ve heard the late Bob Mugabe say similar things to people who don’t agree with him,” I told him. “That’s politics,” he said. “I’m talking about rugby.” I don’t think he meant it ironically. My son, on the other hand, doesn’t lose sleep over the Boks. “They’re not friends or family or neighbours. They just happen to live in the same part of the world...