LETTER: Taunts leave a sour taste

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The Independent Online
THE game of rugby between Western Somoa and South Africa was strangely dispiriting. The commentators had seemingly been ordered off the word "black" - Chester Williams was repeatedly described as "non-white". He scored elegantly and repeatedly, but did I see one member of his own team congratulate him with any enthusiasm? No. He always walked away from the try-line alone.

The Samoans played with courage if not total conviction but there were a couple of strangely out-of-character high tackles against the South African scrum-half, Joost van der Westhuizen. The next day I read in your paper that it is alleged that he had racially abused the Samoans in "unprintable language" ("Williams springs into action", Sport, 11 June).

In the context of stunning play that confirms the essential nobility of sport, it leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

It also reminds us of the extraordinary acts of forgiveness we are asking of black South Africa. It could be that Van der Westhuizen was receiving a few just desserts out on the field of play. What price white South Africa if punished likewise for decades of such disgusting behaviour?

Neil Trevithick

London E1

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