It looks like the days of calling our nation rugby team the Springboks could be over. An intense first day of the National Sports Indaba ended in Durban today with many delegates calling for the Springbok emblem to be stripped off from the national rugby team. South Africa’s sports federations are calling for the Boks to loose their emblem as they are the only national team that still uses the Springbok and that they should use the King Protea just like everyone else.
As expected, this decision has not been welcome in some quarters, most notably from SA Rugby themselves. The Springbok has not only become an emblem that the whole country relates to the national rugby team with but it has also become a huge commercial brand for SA Rugby. It would be a drastic change for many to have to leave the Springbok. Can you imagine going to watch the Springboks (okay, for now we will call them ‘The National Rugby Team’) and be chanting “Go Protea!” instead of “Go Bokke”? Go Protea does not seem to have that ring to it.
The meeting in Durban ends tomorrow (Friday) and by then we will know if the Springbok has become extinct or not. It will also be interesting to see how SA Rugby reacts if the ruling is passed that the Springbok has to go. Will they rebel and continue to use the Springbok anyway? One can understand why it is wanted for all national teams to use the King Protea but there are some things that should not change.
What do you think? Should the Springbok go or should it stay?