The Role of Sports in South African Politics

657 WordsFeb 20, 20183 Pages
South African cricket administrator Ali Bacher stated "We have arrived at a state of true unification in this country." In Joe Humphrey’s book, Foul Play he challenges the fact that sport has a positive influence in the world. I disagree with his statement that sport creates barriers between groups. I believe that sport has acted as an incredible unifier throughout the world and especially in South Africa. Sporting events such as the 1995 Rugby world cup, the 2010 Fifa world cup and even home-grown events such as the two oceans and the Comrades marathon have brought South Africans together as one nation. However there are factors that agree with Humphreys ideas such as local football. In 1994 South Africa was a split nation suffering from the effects of apartheid and although the apartheid laws had been abolished South Africa was in no way unified. The first major sporting event held in South Africa was the 1995 Rugby world cup. President Nelson Mandela saw this as a perfect opportunity to bring South Africans together under the ‘one team, one nation’ mantra. This event signified forgiveness and unification amongst the public who all stood behind the team and supported the rugby players together as one nation. South Africa went on to win the Rugby world cup and a true feeling of a rainbow nation emerged. Sean Fitzpatrick, the New Zealand captain specifically remembers the feeling of being up against an entire nation rather than just 15 players. It is evident that this
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