Springboks captain Siya Kolisi has stood up for Jordie Barrett, after the All Blacks centre was subject to online scrutiny. Barrett has been the focus of a recent social media video, suggesting that he ‘snubbed’ a hand-shake with South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa
The alleged ‘incident’, took place whilst New Zealand received their runners-up medals after the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final. The camera angles on the televised broadcast cut away when Barrett approached Ramaphosa, with the cut-back showing the South African President looking on at the Hurricanes man.
Social media users believed that this was the President giving Barrett a ‘death stare’, with a particular video going viral across TikTok.
Kolisi has since cleared the air, about how Jordie Barrett did shake the President’s hand. Kolisi once again showed real class as he spoke in the press conference event, after South Africa returned home as “bokke-to-bokke” Rugby World Cup Champions.
“Just on a more of a sensitive note… I don’t know if you guys have seen, but after the game, there was a video that went out on TikTok about Jordie Barrett, that somebody thinks he didn’t shake the president’s hand,” the skipper explained.
“He’s been getting a lot of bad media, people are being hard on him. But obviously, it’s tough losing a World Cup final, and obviously getting that kind of negative media is not good, and I know him personally, he’s someone that I know very well… He’s not that kind of person.
“The video was taken probably after he shook the hand.. he obviously shook the president’s hand.”
Kolisi continued to discuss how the Springboks are fully backing Jordie Barrett regarding the allegations. The two-time Rugby World Cup winning captain continued:
“And we just want to say, we the South African team, I spoke to coach Jacques (Nienaber) about it, we are fully behind him. We respect New Zealand a lot, they respect us a lot, so please just give him some slack. Let’s just celebrate.
“There’s nothing worse than losing a game and then also being on (social) media and getting all these kind of messages. It’s really been tough for him, and obviously the team and his family, but the South African team, we’re all behind him.
“So please, if you can.. he did shake the president’s hand. Thank you.”