Zimbabwe Cricket “has noted with serious concern” an opinion article written by South African journalist Telford Vice referring to Zimbabwe’s team, the Chevrons, as a representation of “oppression over the dreams of millions.”
Zimbabwe tours South Africa next month but Vice, who is unapologetically racist, feels a team from a “fascist” country should not be allowed to compete against their international counterparts.
Vice, a freelance cricket journalist based in Cape Town, used his weekly column in the Sunday Times to air the roundly condemned piece titled “Should we allow Zimbabwe’s cricket team to tour SA?”
“Our only response is to echo the words of Nelson Mandela in 1995, when he said: “Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, it has the power to unite people in a way that little else does,” Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani responded in a statement.
“Similarly, Zimbabwe Cricket’s vision is to enable individuals and communities to be empowered and inspired by cricket.
We stand by that and we believe cricket can be used as a vehicle for emboldening the youth to reach their full potential in any field they choose.
Cricket has that power and we are committed to the game and its ability to provide an environment that is positive and energetic as well as expands the horizons and dreams of those that play and are involved. That is our purpose,” he added.
Vice claimed in his vicious article that the Chevrons represented the triumph of oppression and were sporting ambassadors of fascism.
“Zimbabwe’s team represent the triumph of oppression over the dreams of millions who dared harbour hopes for nothing more nor less than a decent life. They fly the flag of fascism,” he wrote on Sunday.
“Should they be detained as co-conspirators in crimes against their compatriots, turned away at the border, or asked what the hell they think they’re doing trying to pretend all is well enough where they come from to indulge in a spot of mere cricket?
“What should not happen, under any circumstances, is that they are let in to smear the second country with their lie of normality.
“Such an act would be a dereliction of the duty all of us have to the natural law of standing up for right in the face of wrong. It would be unconscionable.
“But when Zimbabwe touch down at OR Tambo International late next month to play South Africa in three games in each of the white-ball formats, not only will they be let in, no questions asked, they will be treated as if they are just another cricket team from just another country.
“They aren’t. They represent the triumph of oppression over the dreams of millions who dared harbour hopes for nothing more nor less than a decent life. They fly the flag of fascism.
“Try telling the suits that they should demand Zimbabwe’s expulsion from the International Cricket Council.
All of the above should happen. It won’t because too many people no longer think; neither about principles nor politics nor indeed what’s right and wrong about how other people are treated.”
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