[Messages sent as mailgrams on 6 July 1981]

by Richard E. Lapchick, American Coordinating Committee for Equality in Sport and Society
New York, New York, United States
July 6, 1981 or a few days later
Publisher: American Coordinating Committee for Equality in Sport and Society
2 pages
Type: Mailing
Coverage in Africa: South Africa
Coverage outside Africa: United States
Language: English
The texts of messages sent as mailgrams on July, 1981 to Richard Moneymaker, President of the American Rugby Football Union (ARFU), and William Haffner of the Eastern Rugby Football Union from Richard E. Lapchick, National Chairperson of ACCESS (American Coordinating Committee for Equality in Sport and Society). The document also includes a copy of a mailgram to President Ronald Reagan. ACCESS   states that it views the invitation to the South African rugby team to tour the U.S. as a grave violation of the international boycott against South Africa in sport. ACCESS, a coalition of 30 national civil rights, religious, political and sports groups, says it is prepared to organize demonstrations at the ARFU's proposed sites in Chicago, Albany and New York City. The Springboks, the national team in rugby, represents the apartheid state. South Africa uses such teams, which are invariably multiracial in composition, to deceive overseas audiences as to the true nature of apartheid. At the club level, where 99% of the athletes compete, sports is almost totally segregated; therefore the messages urge immediate cancellation of the invitation to the Springboks. According to ACCESS, its African colleagues say that such a tour will have serious implications for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Although rugby is a non-Olympic sport, this did not stop the African pull-out in 1976 over South Africa's rugby relations with New Zealand. ACCESS was a main organizing force behind the 1978 Davis Cup protests, when 6,500 Americans demonstrated against South Africa's presence in Nashville. ACCESS says the names of everyone on the teams that compete with the Springboks will be submitted to the United Nations Centre Against Apartheid for inclusion in their Register of Athletes; they will then be excluded from all future competitions in the more than 125 nations that endorse the Register.

Used by permission of Richard Lapchick, founder of the American Coordinating Committee for Equality in Sport and Society.
Collection: George M. Houser (Africa collection), Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections