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'Apology not accepted': Growing calls for Proteas coach Mark Boucher to be axed amid racism allegations

Proteas coach Mark Boucher: 'We should have been more sensitive.'
Proteas coach Mark Boucher: 'We should have been more sensitive.'
Image: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix

Proteas coach Mark Boucher's apology to the nation for his involvement in alleged racial taunts aimed at black former teammates in the national side has been dismissed by many on social media, who have called for him to be fired.

TimesLIVE reported Boucher came into the spotlight last month at Cricket SA’s (CSA's) transformation hearings where former teammate Paul Adams accused him of being one of the white players who called him “brown s**t”. 

In an apology issued on Monday, Boucher agreed that Adams was called “brown s**t” but denied coming up with the name. He asked for the opportunity to address the racism allegations with the former players one on one as he is hurt by the testimonies of racism and exclusion.

I can categorically say that I did not give Mr Adams the name ‘brown s**t’. I don’t know who gave him the name.

“I am deeply concerned and, indeed, hurt by some of the testimony and wish to address these concerns with the individuals concerned in person.

“I have listened to the hurt some of my former teammates felt, the feeling of exclusion and some totally unacceptable and inappropriate examples of alleged racism that they endured.

I can categorically say that I did not give Mr Adams the name ‘brown shit’. I don’t know who gave him the name. I am deeply concerned and, indeed, hurt by some of the testimony and wish to address these concerns with the individuals concerned in person.
Mark Boucher 

“I apologise unreservedly for any offensive conduct, real or perceived, that has been attributed to me,” he said. 

Reflecting on 1997, the time at which black players were allegedly subjected to racism, Boucher said the team was ill-equipped to deal with post-racial SA.  

The allegations by Adams opened old wounds among some on social media who have since reflected on similar ones made by former cricketer Makhaya Ntini.

Last year, Ntini revealed in a candid SABC interview that he was allegedly sidelined by white players. 

He said he felt lonely and that speaking up was never an option as he could have been labelled “bitter” and ungrateful.

He said after matches, he used to run from the stadium to the hotel because his team members didn't want to sit with him.

On social media, some said Boucher must step down from his position. Others questioned why he never came out and apologised for his part in perpetuating racism in the sport after Ntini's interview.

Popular radio personality Rams Mabote wrote a note to Boucher on social media, telling him not to “spoil” his apology with excuses.

“Dear Mark Boucher, if you are going to apologise 'unreservedly', don't spoil it with excuses like 'naive' and being 'a young man'.”

Here's a glimpse into some of the online reactions:


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