EP boss slams ‘racist’ SA rugby establishment in memorial service tirade

EP boss slams ‘racist’ SA rugby establishment in memorial service tirade

The contentious statements from Cannon – who took over as acting EP Rugby president last year – were made during the memorial service for former prop Godfrey, who died in February at the age of 63, according to footage obtained by Sunday daily Rapport.

“Stand up in Godfrey’s name, stand up.” Cannon was reported by City Press as saying, “My plea is that we must turn the South African rugby scene upside down.”

“I did not come back to support the South African rugby establishment, because it is still very much racist.

“We must see it for what it is. My plea to Eastern Province, because we are scraping around at the bottom of rugby, is to stand up. No one can take away our institutional memories. No one.

“But it’s not good enough just to have memories – we have to live it. There is reason to fight, there is reason to restore our rugby honour to its glory. And that is what we must do, in the interests of our children.

“I know there are people who are happy to support the apartheid emblem, the racist emblem – the Springbok.

“My argument is, that emblem is equal to that flag that was waved when we made a compromise in 1995. It has the same expression; it’s racist.

“Why did one institution remain and destroy true non-racialism and let us believe there was normality in society?”

According to the report, Cannon’s comments were understandably not well received by other rugby union presidents and CEOs.

Meanwhile, SA Rugby president Mark Alexander told Rapport that he has not had the opportunity to listen to Cannon’s remarks.

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