Carolus Magnus

Affirmative Action FOR Blacks in Sports

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Quote Originally Posted by Charles Martel View Post
An older but classic article showing that when the situation calls for it, it is indeed OK to have racial quotas in sports.

South African cricket chiefs have taken the surprise step of scrapping the racial quota system for senior cricket.
The decision was taken by the United Cricket Board of South Africa's General Council and from now on the national team and senior provincial sides will be picked entirely on merit.

The proposal had been drawn up at a weekend conference involving 150 cricket officials near Pretoria.

"Transformation will continue apace in cricket as we endeavour to take the game to everyone who wishes to play it and administer it in our country.

"But we now believe that cricket people are mature enough to take responsibility for that process," said UCB president Percy Sonn.

"We have seen enough real change to be confident that these sides can be selected on merit and that we have enough real quality players of colour that their presence in these senior teams no longer needs to be dictated by a quota system."

We cannot claim to have arrived at our destiny, but rather we will remain dynamic and adaptive in our response to our changing reality

UCBSA statement
Quotas will still be in place from provincial B sides down through junior representative cricket, where at least half of the players in each team should be non-white.

Selection argument

It is 31 years since South Africa were exiled from international cricket because of the apartheid policy then in place.

They were eventually re-admitted in 1991 after the two bodies running black and white cricket agreed to merge and implement a development programme to ensure that "cricket would represent all South Africans".

The quota system was introduced as part of that process, but came in for criticism from several senior cricket figures, particularly during the winter series against Australia.

Ontong was caught up in a selection row

Batsman Jacques Rudolph was picked to play in the third Test in Melbourne, only for Sonn to intervene and insist that the place should go to Justin Ontong.

Henry's role

South Africa eventually lost five of the six Tests played home and away and were beaten 6-1 in the one-day series on home soil.

Since then, there have been a number of significant changes including the appointment of Omar Henry, the first non-white player to appear in a Test for South Africa, as chairman of selectors.

Senior figures surprised but pleased
Delegates at the weekend conference signed a UCBSA flag and pledged to "activate and demonstrate out commitment to unified teamwork - one team, one plan, one voice".

They also launched Operation Teamwork aimed at ensuring that the process of transformation is ongoing.

Quotas, meanwhile, continue to provoke fierce debate within South African rugby.

Current rules state that every team must have at least two black players on the field during Super 12 matches and the country's rugby board president wants nine black players in their squad for next year's World Cup.