Upon rewatching #chasingthesun as a preamble to the Lions rumble, Rassie's unflinching stance on transformation stands out.
Respects it.
Owns it.
Stark contrast to the headlines coming out of #SJNHearings.
Drawing a line on the past starts with acknowledgment. Not justification.
Cricket has created many of its own issues by being dismissive of the credentials of people of colour who care deeply about the game.
In various roles.
There are many, many tales of savage and subtle prejudice and denial of equal opportunity masked as 'tough luck' and bad timing.
Many have batted 9 and not bowled. Become professional bowling machines.
Sat in meetings and not been given a voice.
Coached and given no respect.
Used to tick boxes instead of diversify the narrative.
Woefully underpaid and undermined. The stain sticks forever.
These hearings are not a time for "whataboutism".
They are hopefully the beginning of the end of significant hurt within a game many loved but grew to loathe.
Spat out for being brown shits or whatecef other names were out there.
Because they were there. Some still are, sadly.
The quota is such a divisive word in cricket because the game has pushed transformation aside for years.
One at a time.
Don't talk your language here.
You boys having KFC again?
Why are you always late?
Where the hell did you get that piece of shit bat?
England cricket suspended a cricketer for historic tweets recently.
South African cricket has justifications for lived experiences of pain.
Contextual lessons on why abuse could only flow one way.
We have a long, long way to go. But hopefully the road starts with this sharing.
Naturally, there will be those who leap up in defense of the indefensible. Honestly couldn't give a shit at this point.
I've been a Paul Adams. Been a Phangi.
Don't confuse the trickle of black stars in SA cricket for lack of talent. It's often a lack of tolerance.
This is not a pot shot at the past, but a prayer for the future players of this game.
Of all races.
Create a culture that abolishes discrimination and its stout defence and explanation, and the proverbial cream rises.
You can never truly win as one if you don't live as one.
We hold up the 2019 World Cup win as a glittering example of a rainbow nation at work.
But long before the team won that trophy, Rassie won the room by giving every, single player and staff member a voice.
A purpose.
A value.
From that equal foundation, all things are possible.

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