Provincial players will wear a ‘No to Racism’ message on their jerseys when they run out for their respective teams this weekend.
The slogan will replace the sponsor’s logo on the players’ chests as an official show of Absa’s support for Saru’s drive to stamp out racism in rugby.
“This is a huge initiative that our provincial unions and sponsors instantly bought into,” said Regan Hoskins, president of the South African Rugby Union.
“We are putting the message squarely in front of our supporters and the whole rugby community so there can be no doubt about where rugby stands. We are utterly opposed to racism and will continue to campaign to get that message across.”
The Springboks’ big victory over Australia at Ellis Park was marred by a racist attack on spectator Ziningi Shibambo. Saru offered a R10 000 reward for information leading to the identification of the perpetrators, which failed to yield a response. Hoskins hopes this new campaign will help to prevent these attacks in future.
“It was a hideously cowardly attack on Ms Shibambo but it has helped galvanise us on an issue that we hoped was dying its own natural death.
“We now have an anti-racism message on all our website pages and have added a sentence from our constitution to our letterhead which states ‘the union will foster the game amongst all persons irrespective of race, colour, creed or gender.’
“But we wanted to go further and make the most public statement we could manage and I think this initiative does precisely that,” said Hoskins.