SAZF condemns Crickets SA decisions to remove Jewish captain
12 January 2024
The South African Zionist Federation (SAZF) vehemently condemns the recent decision by Cricket South Africa (CSA) to relieve David Teeger of his captaincy of the South African under-19 cricket team for the upcoming U19 Men's Cricket World Cup. This decision, purportedly made due to 'security' considerations as a result of the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, is a blatant act of discrimination and antisemitism against a Jewish player.
The action taken against Teeger, who is Jewish, solely based on his religious identity and personal beliefs, is deeply troubling and sets a dangerous precedent for sports in this country. It is an affront to the values of diversity, inclusivity, and the spirit of sportsmanship that cricket and indeed all sports are supposed to embody. Discrimination on the grounds of religion or personal belief is unacceptable in any form and should have no place in sports, which are supposed to unite people from diverse backgrounds and beliefs.
The rationale provided by CSA, citing concerns of 'violence' and 'safety,' is unconvincing and appears to be a thinly veiled attempt to mask the underlying discriminatory motive. The organisation has failed to explain why they are incapable or unwilling to put in place the usual security measures to ensure the safety of participants and spectators.
This decision not only unfairly penalises Teeger but also potentially endangers the principle of religious freedom and expression in sports. It is an action that cannot be justified under the guise of safety, especially without transparent evidence supporting such a claim.