South Africa has had a shortage of achievements to be proud of, but sport has often filled the void. The BLM Global Network is undoing major gains.

To most South Africans, Nelson Mandela’s lifting the World Cup with Francois Pienaar created an iconic memory of what it looked like for the new, non-racial South Africa to win. This memory has been worn thin under the acid rub of many political and economic failures since. Although fragile, it remained intact, and was bolstered by two more World Cup victories and mass national goodwill.

To understand the damage being done in 2020, the first thing to appreciate is how important it has been that sport stars have represented all of us. The colours that mattered most were green and gold. This view is being undermined.

The second thing to understand is how the #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) movement works in the US, as this provides insight into how BLM support is affecting sport in this country today.

Some South African sports stars, notably Francois Pienaar himself, have started ‘taking a knee’ for BLM. Where did they get the idea? From the US, and one man in particular.

Colin Kaepernick had a good, not great, career in American Football, which was starting to wind down when he took a knee for BLM back in 2016. He was the first, and remains the most famous, sports star to do so. Soon after, he stopped playing sport and became probably sport’s most successful race merchant.

Kaepernick also made news for wearing socks with images of pigs with police hats on them. This might seem cute at first glance. But recall that one of BLM’s first viral chants was ‘pigs in a blanket fry like bacon’, where ‘pigs’ refers to police, especially white police, being burned alive with their little police hats on their heads.

‘Burn every pig’

Former Quillette editor Andrew Ngo shows various images of BLM graffiti in Portland in 2020 that read ‘burn every pig‘, and he also reports a video of a pig’s head with a police hat being burned by Antifa, a radical movement aligned with BLM.

Far from wanting to defund the police, which is what BLM Global Network explicitly, repeatedly and consistently calls for, 81% of black Americans want policing presence to stay the same or increase, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Those who ‘take a knee’ for BLM are at odds with what most black Americans want.

Furthermore, Kaepernick is openly anti-American. Consider his recent claim that the US 4th of July holiday is a ‘celebration of white supremacy’.

If you want a stark contrast, check out then president Barack Obama’s inspiring 2009 4th of July speech ‘on the meaning of this distinctly American holiday’. Kaepernick’s and Obama’s views could not be more different. Maybe that is why Obama defended the ‘free speech’ right to take a knee, but did not endorse or copy the gesture.

Awful contribution

Kaepernick’s most awful contribution is his endorsement of violence in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. Since 28 May 2020, Kaepernick’s pinned tweet reads:

The ‘cries for peace’ have rained down, not least over the fate of David Dorn, Chris Beaty, Dave Patrick Underwood and Marie Kelly, just a few black Americans killed under the aegis of BLM protest. Indeed, their innocent cries fell ‘on deaf ears’.

Harvard professor Roland Fryer finds – using the most relevant controls – not only that US police are more likely to shoot white people than black people, but also that BLM ‘viral’ protests, in conjunction with ‘pattern-and-practice’ federal investigations, are responsible for alienating the police, incentivising 450 excess US murders per annum, many of the victims being black Americans.

Makes a lot of money

Kaepernick is unimpressed by that; he takes a knee for BLM and stands for violent ‘revolution’ as ‘the only logical reaction’. He also makes a lot of money from the publicity and kudos he garners every time other famous sports stars take a knee, like him, for BLM.

Nike’s most recent ‘You Can’t Stop Us’ advert, with over 40 million YouTube views in the last week, begins the ‘take a knee in sport’ section with Kaepernick taking a knee on camera.

Nike’s Kaepernick Air Force 1 sneakers are imprinted with the date, 14 August, 2016, when he started ‘taking a knee’ for BLM. The footwear has had record sales. And in the US no-one criticises Kaepernick publicly anymore without being denounced as a racist.

Does this mean that everyone who takes a knee is serving Kaepernick’s agenda? Certainly not. Some kneel to propose marriage, some to get knighted, and some just to tie their shoelaces.

Sports24 claims that all who kneel for BLM do so to make ‘their stances against racism, discrimination and exclusion clear’. But is it clear to anybody that Pienaar’s stance on racism is the same as Kaepernick’s?

I hope their views are opposite. Kaepernick does not want to end racism, he just wants a new form of it after violent ‘revolting’.

Anyone who takes a knee for BLM, like Kaepernick, takes on the responsibility of clarifying whether or not they think like Kaepernick too.

Taking a knee is much quicker and easier than making a real positive change, some of which requires critical analysis. The hard work still lies ahead.

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Image by Betty Martin from Pixabay


  1. Ahhh RUGBY.

    The real reason why 1994 happened.

    My answer to your longwinded lament?

    Let them have it, who cares about Rugby. Pienaar? Maak my net NAAR.

    Sports was always recreation. It became a religion in this country.

    • Rugby can & will go exactly like soccer & then soon to followed by cricket. So who cares about sport anyway , must be a minuscule proportion of the white population. It will be up to the black supporters to fill stadiums in future & please down except sponsorship from white monopoly companies. There are more black millionaires than white and let them show their mettle to support there own.

    • Johannes and August, I have a suspicion that both of you were part of the many South Africans who had a lekker party on 2 November 2019 when the Boks beat the Poms. Likewise in 2007 and 1995…
      If not, fair enough, but you cant discredit what those days meant to the people of this country. Religion? Maybe, and at least we know it’s real.
      It is also easy to turn your back on the sports now as there is nothing to watch but come next time the Boks or Proteas play, I hope everyone who has made a fuss about ‘the knees’ sticks to their guns otherwise you are no better than them.
      To Gabriel: Referencing Kaepernick without even a passing glance at Kolisi is a suspicious omission. Yes, Kaepernick is making a good profit off the situation but Kolisi essentially flipped the bird to every pale face that got him where he is.
      P.S. No time for BLM, Yankee problems and hypocrites

      • Agreed, but now that the BLM Knee has insidiously manifested itself in our sports, destroying everything the 3 World Cups achieved – and to be fair, assisted slightly by our Chokers – and polarized the racial divide more than ever, I can honestly say if there’s one single thing I’m grateful to the Rona for, it’s that I’m cured of wasting hours upon hours in front of the Telly watching sports. Perhaps I may again get excited to see the G&G in action but with the growing momentum of BLM aligned fools, eg. currently the Former Cricket Players and Coaches of colour having a go at Graeme Smith, ironically also a kneedropper and someone I’ve never particularly liked, I strongly doubt it.

  2. The BLM movement is just a bad excuse to promote political agendas. The world is burning while we are force-fed lefty agendas. GF was a convenient catalyst.

  3. Why doesn’t anyone kneel for ‘Old lives matter, children’s lives matter, Women’s lives matter, White lives matter, Farmers’ lives matter’ as well??
    BLM is from the enemy…. the devil himself!!!

  4. What is dressed as Racism as we experience it today, is just an excuse for mediocrity. It is the underachievers who are looking for a reason for their failures. The saying goes: All I want in life is an unfair advantage and a good excuse (for when I still fail…)
    That is why the BLM stands for socialism, land grabs, government hand outs etc. Free market exposes their incompetence and failures.

  5. South African sport is comprised of institutions with racially promoted agendas. Gone are the days when many will support sport, especially which are BLM supported.
    As I have mentioned before, BLM does not represent black people. It is a racist, Communist, extreme left wing movement created by the global elites to overthrow the right.
    Global elites move from right to left and back to right whenever it financially benefits them.
    I have been receiving emails from the Sierra Club for many years. This morning I received an email from it openly admitting that it supports Joe Biden and BLM. I immediately sent an email in response stating that I was appalled by its statement, that it supports racism and left wing extremism and that I would unsubscribe which I did.

  6. When a black youngster gets subsidised to a prestigious school, becomes an international rugby player and captain of a world cup winning team, has millions in the bank and yet moans about how unfairly whites have treated him, we can acknowledge that integration will probably fail. In SA where we have a black majority government, black lives have supposed to matter for 26 years, but it has become obvious that some black lives matter a lot more than others, just ask the ANC and all their deployed cadres.

  7. Watch what happens when sport reopens. People tend to vote with their feet/ cash and I think the sports administrators are going to learn this quickly.

    • The reality, is that DSTV pays a lot for the right to broadcast the rugby and other sport, so unless we band together and discard DSTV it won’t affect them at all, ticket sales are only a fraction of the income they get from rugby.


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