The South African Football Association have joined thousands of sports bodies around the world who have pledged their support to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
BLM is a movement that was started with the intention of advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against African-American people.
The movement has now spread into the sports fraternity with footballers and other athletes across the world embracing it.
The English Premier League have also displayed their support for the movement, by taking a knee before every match since their League resumed in June.
“The President of the South African Football Association, Dr Danny Jordaan pledges solidarity with the athletes who are revealing their painful experiences as victims of systemic discrimination in their sporting codes,” said SAFA in a statement.
“The Association fully supports the Black Lives Matter movement and hereby calls on more athletes and administrators to speak out and engage in meaningful conversations about how we can uproot all manifestations of discrimination in sport and society generally,” read the statement.
“For far too long, the conversation has tended to be divisive, with some individuals and groups equating the calls for transformation in sport with political interference. This is nothing but an excuse to perpetuate white privilege and entrench the systematic exclusion of others simply on the basis of their skin colour. The heartfelt revelations by Makhaya Ntini, Siya Kolisi, Lungi Ngidi and many other elite, world beating athletes have exposed a reality that no black player, whatever their merit, is safe from the culture of discrimination.
“This is not the time for bickering about transformation. It is a time to listen attentively to those who are speaking out, show empathy and commit to remove the vestiges of apartheid in all its forms. We cannot continue to claim undying love for Nelson Mandela when we fail to heed his calls for sport to be a unifier and a catalyst for the end of racism,” said the association.
SAFA said they will be sharing images and messages of their Black Lives Matter solidarity campaign on various platforms, in the coming days.
By Ofhani Munyai