New Zealand has a Maroi rugby team which reflects a cultural group and the desire to display their talents to the world, but the fact this team is only composed of Maroi raises issues for its proposed trip to South Africa. The South African Ruby Union has a rule that forbids South African rugby players to play against teams that have been “selected along racial lines” that might prevent the Maroi team from playing in that nation. The Maroi team in addition to playing rugby also performs cultural aspects of their culture in order to familiarize others about the nature of the Maroi people. Billy Bush, captain of the Maroi team notes, “I understand South Africa’s position because they have 500 years of (white rule). And it’s not long ago when Maroi couldn’t go to South Africa.” The only time they did get to play in South Africa was in 1970 when they appeared as “honorary whites.”
The New Zealand Maroi team is appealing to South Africa to waive this rule and allow their team to play against South Africa. Ah, the trials and confusion when we humans engage in the game of racism.