It takes a man of genuine dignity and integrity to admit his mistakes and say I’m sorry – well FNB Wanderers rugby club fits the bill perfectly.
In an uncharacteristic turn of events, the ‘White Stallions’ issued a rare public apology in relation to reports of allegations of racism reflected on one of their players, one Theo Coetzee, also known as ‘Kwaaitjie’ among his circle of friends.
Club chairman Flip Louw has finally reacted to a report published in the English daily New Era on September 28 this year, citing an incident that occurred during the South African provincial club championship, the Gold Cup.
Wanderers hosted the visiting Northam Platinum Rhinos from South Africa on Saturday, September 24 this year.
“We acknowledge one of our players uttered something to an opposition that crossed the line of what is appropriate and acceptable in a rugby match and on the field of play,” Louw says.
Louw further notes that Wanderers rugby club regrets such a comment as it tainted what was an otherwise great sporting rivalry and spectacle between two clubs.
“Such comments are not representative of the values of our team or those the club stands for. The club has taken stern disciplinary action against Coetzee and subsequently suspended him.”
Furthermore, the club sincerely apologizes to all those let down by such unacceptable behaviour and those offended in the process. The club will not tolerate any ill-discipline, unacceptable behaviour or racism and will in future enforce a zero-tolerance policy in that regard.
Louw says plans are in motion to launch an initiative involving team members, young rugby players, fans and patrons of Wanderers rugby club.
“We want to foster a passionate, but respectful, atmosphere at the club’s future events where core values of good sportsmanship, respect and discipline for all involved should prevail.”
In conclusion, Louw reiterated that since its inception in 1920, the club has always enjoyed a long and proud tradition of being a positive force in the domestic rugby community.
“Wanderers strives to continue doing so while serving the rugby community and the general rugby public, as well as the community at large.”