Ken Borland

By Ken Borland


We will not silence Siya Kolisi on BLM – SA Rugby

Having become a powerful symbol of change and unity in South Africa, Kolisi vowed that the “time to be scared and to be silent” is over in South Africa.

Having become a powerful symbol of change and unity in South Africa, after leading the most transformed Springbok side yet to World Cup glory last year, SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux says national captain Siya Kolisi has earned the right to express his opinion.

Roux was responding to questions over how SA Rugby would react to Kolisi’s social media post over the weekend, in which he supported the Black Lives Matter movement and spoke of his difficulties in fitting in with the Springbok squad.

In a seven-minute long video posted on his Instagram account, the 29-year-old flanker admitted he had previously shied away from the topic because he was “scared”.

But he vowed that the “time to be scared and to be silent” is over in South Africa, ranked one of the world’s most unequal societies.

“It’s time for all of us to change and actually start to living the South Africa that so may people have fought for, so many people have died for.

The skipper also pointed out that World Cup-winning coach Rassie Erasmus had addressed the issues and transformed the Springbok team both in terms of personnel and environment.

“Siya is his own person and he got to where he did by himself and led us to the World Cup, so it’s not for me or anyone else to tell him what he must say,” Roux said this week.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Siya Kolisi (@siya_kolisi_the_bear) on

“We must give people the opportunity to tell their stories, and people will either support or not support what they say, but that is always the case. Personally, I respect his comments.

“Black Lives Matter is basically about respect for others and how we treat people on a daily basis. That should be first and foremost, whether we are talking about BLM, farm attacks or gender based violence.

“We’ve seen that rugby can have an influence in society and we need to own up to those issues and not steer away from those conversations.”

Roux made the call for more discussions over improving opportunities for black people in the sport.

“Let black people tell their stories, and what’s more important is for us to listen and hear what they are saying. We must not shy away from awkward truths.

“We must continue dialogue and figure out together how to bring change. Is our transformation plan robust enough? These are very serious matters that transcend way beyond sport.

“Maybe some elements of our plan do need change, for example when it comes to black coaches. Rassie has presented a plan to fast-track black coaches and we need to look at that more seriously.

“I’m the first to acknowledge that things have gone wrong, even if we have made some very good progress in transformation. As a federation, rugby has been very good at acknowledging our sins of the past.”

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.

Read more on these topics

sa rugby Siya Kolisi Springboks (Bokke/Boks)