Tuesday, 14 October 2008

What shall we do with a wayward Springbok?

What shall we do with a wayward Springbok?

I always thought that pulling on the colours of your national team was supposed to be the stuff that dreams were made of – dreams of young children when they watch their heroes on television or see their photographs in the newspaper or in magazines.

So what then when a member of a national team describes how his national team colours cause him to feel nauseous, that he feels like getting sick on his national jersey?

Now I know that there is much debate in South Africa just now about the Springbok emblem and whether it should stay or go – and I myself have waded into this debate not so many days ago. But this has little to do with the Springbok…

When I watch a national sports team march out onto the field of competition, I like to feel that they are bursting with pride at the prospect of representing their country; that pulling on their national colours still brings a lump to their throat, regardless of how many times they have done it before.

So what then when Luke Watson, a Rugby World Cup winner and current member of the national rugby team, describes how the green and gold of South Africa makes him want to vomit? What then?

I cannot but help to think that sportsmen and women should be role models both on and off the field of play. That they demonstrate not only the very best that their sport has to offer in terms of talent, but also as an ambassador for their sport and their country.

Just what kind of role model is Luke Watson being?

How many other rugby players in the country would dearly love to dislodge Mr Watson from the national rugby team and pull on his jersey themselves – their chests filled with pride though unlike his?
And I cannot help but to think how many young boys have in the last few days proclaimed that they want to “puke on their [replica] rugby jerseys” that their mom or dad has bought them. I know that if I spent all that money buying a jersey that Ulricha’s young son could wear on match days, and he told me he wanted to puke on it, I would be furious! Not at him, but at this so called role model we have in the national team.

I am sorry, but I cannot bring myself to feel any sympathy for Mr Watson. I cannot trust a national team member who doesn’t really want to wear the national colours. Is he truly playing his very best when he is representing his country – or merely going through the motions?

There is currently an investigation underway as to the circumstances of his comments, and whether they were made at a private function or as part of a public address.
I don’t see that it makes a difference.

Our national teams should be full of people who want to be there, who are proud of their national colours, and who will always give 100% for their nation.

Mr Watson should be removed from the national team set up.

Perhaps he would prefer to wear the gold of the Australian Rugby team?


Arthur said...

Well said Mike!
This guy just seems love being the centre of rugby controversy and his latest outburst gives credence to those who believed he should not be wearing the national colours in the first place!

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