TS Galaxy assistant coach Shaun Bartlett is adamant that sports can play a big role in changing the mood in South Africa.
The country has been in turmoil in the past two weeks with violence and loss of lives dominating the headlines in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and Gauteng.
The former Bafana Bafana international has challenged sports personalities to use their influence in easing the situation in the country.
“It is sad to see the country in the state in which it is currently in the past 10 days. In as much as Nelson Mandela always said that sports have the power to unite people but in most cases, sports personalities turn to shy away from politics. As sports personalities, we have a massive influence in this country. We’ve got to use it to the benefit of the public itself and make sure that we can make a difference,” Bartlett stated.
Several shops and warehouses were looted in KZN and Gauteng.
“It is for us to make a stand and not always certain things like the one that happened in the past weeks to happen again because this is our country. We’ve got to make sure that we look after it. We’ve got to make sure that we build something for the future. We’ve got to give our kids the legacy to continue,” he elaborated.
Bartlett won the 1996 Africa Cup of Nations with Bafana Bafana.
“I was hoping that Kaizer Chiefs will bring smiles to this nation. With the Olympic Games also coming up, there’s a big difference that can be made as far as putting smiles on people’s faces whether it is a gold medal or scoring the goal for the Olympic team. That’s the way to bring back the joy and laughter.” Bartlett explained.