Carney's support for the All Blacks did not mean that he was disloyal to the SA national team and it had nothing to do with his ability as a coach
A DECISION by the Griqualand West Rugby Union (GWRU) that coaches may not be vocal supporters of the All Blacks was met with outrage on social media yesterday, with Facebook users expressing their overwhelming support for the right of any individual to back the team of their preference.
On Sunday, GWRU president Jannie Louw defended the union’s decision to render Deon Carney and fellow coach Joe Molale ineligible for team management positions with Griquas as a “patriotic act”.
Louw pointed out that while everyone had the right to choose what team they support, no employer would tolerate staff members coming to work in clothes with a rival company’s branding.
“New Zealand would never hire school coaches who walk around in Springbok jerseys,” said Louw.
He did, however, add that it would be extremely unfortunate should the two “strong candidates” be lost to South African rugby.
He further emphasised that if the duo were willing to commit to supporting the Springboks, they would be welcomed back with open arms.
However, in an exclusive interview, Carney said that his support for the All Blacks did not mean that he was disloyal to the South African national team and that it had nothing to do with his ability as a coach.
He further pointed out that he has been actively involved with the Kimberley-based union for many years, first as a schoolboy player and later as a member of management for various Griqua sides, including last year’s Craven Week team which enjoyed an unprecedented three wins in three outings at Saru’s premier youth week in 2017.
News of this development on Facebook yesterday, was soon followed by a great deal of comment and criticism with nearly half of all visitors to the DFA’s website reading the report yesterday afternoon.
Within three hours of its posting on Facebook, the article had reached in excess of 5 000 users and was widely shared across the social network.
However, feedback from the public on the GWRU’s decision was not flattering.
“John Mitchell supports the All Blacks and just look at what he is achieving with the Bulls,” posted Michael Weir on Facebook. “Why can’t Carney do the same?
“He is without a doubt one of the best coaches in the Northern Cape. Just ask Diamantveld.”
“Griquas are really disappointing us,” read a post from Juan Bekker. “I’m actually a Bulls supporter but I will still support Griquas when they are in action. Are Griquas going to totally disregard this kind of support and kick me out of the stadium?”
Milize Symington agreed. “Griquas have really disappointed me,” she posted. “Poor Deon. Are Tafel Lager now going to withdraw their sponsorship since they aren’t a South African company?”
While the overwhelming majority of comments were critical of Griquas’ decision, there were, however, some who supported the union’s decision.
“If you can’t even be proud of our own rugby he shouldn’t be involved,” said Adrian Marais. “What a boob.”