South Africa coach Mark Boucher has issued an apology for singing offensive songs and using nicknames for coloured teammates during his playing days for Proteas. A media report claims that the former wicketkeeper-batter has submitted a 14-page long affidavit to Cricket South Africa’s Social Justice and Nation-Building committee (SJN). He also made himself available for a one-on-one discussion with any of the former teammates that he has offended in the past.
Boucher said that he “deeply regrets and apologies for the part I played in joining in with my teammates in singing offensive songs or using offensive nicknames,” as claimed in a report by ESPNCricinfo. Notably, former teammates of Boucher including Paul Adams have accused him of racism. During his testimony to SJN, Adamas had claimed that Boucher made racial slurs on him during one song.
While Boucher had denied that he had given any such nickname to Adams, he admitted that he along with his teammates should have been more sensitive to teammates of colour. Boucher represented South Africa in 147 Tests and 295 ODIs and is regarded as one of the best wicketkeepers ever to have played the game.
Racism is a societal issue, says Joe Root
Meanwhile, England captain Joe Root also expressed his opinion on the issue of racism ahead of the third Test match against India.
“It’s a societal issue in my opinion. We have seen it in other sports; we have seen it in other areas. As a sport, we have got to keep trying to find ways of making sure this isn’t a conversation that keeps happening,” he said.
“We have got to find ways of creating more opportunities, making our game more diverse and educating better,” he added.
“I don’t think that just comes from players and administrators: it’s from everyone in the game. There has got to be a want and a will to do that. It is something we have to prioritise as a sport and make sure this isn’t something that happens again further down the line,” he further said.
Root also stated that England players will observe a “moment of unity” and sport anti-discrimination t-shirts ahead of the third Test against India. The Headingley Test will get underway on Wednesday.