The play stops. Her team mates hunt around for signs of the weapon. Kholeka struts along the side-line, asking the spectators, “Who threw a rock? Sies!”
The stocky goalie from the Hawks’ men’s side shouts back, “She’s talking rubbish. Get lost!” He taunts: “Umhlope!”
The referee looks bewildered. The muscular Hawks man advances over the side-line, threatening, “There’s no rock. Go home, whitey!”
These girls are from the club, so I’ve got to do something. I jog onto the pitch, wave at everyone with much more confidence than I feel.
“It’s okay! It’s okay!”
I crouch down at the white girl’s side. She smells like sweat and lemons. I hiss at her furiously, “Shut up about the rock! When you pop a muscle, it feels like something big hit you.”
“Get off the field!”
She tries to stand, but collapses in agony. I’d like to throw the white girl into the dustbin but I have no choice. I sling her arm around my shoulder and lift her up. Kholeka helps me half carry her off.
The ref blows the whistle. The crowd retreats to the side-lines and the game goes on.
On the side-line, the white girl says pitifully, “I really thought–”
“Why would they throw a rock?” I glare at her, contemptuous.
“Because I’m white.”
The pain has turned the skin around her mouth as white as bone. I walk away, deeply disgusted by her racist assumption. From a distance, I watch as she calls the stocky, angry man to come closer. He marches up to her, still furious.
“Sorry,” she says.
He spits at her feet.
“Sorry!” she shouts after him.
One thing is for sure, the white girl doesn’t give up easily.
Tell us: How do you feel about the girl thinking a rock had been thrown at her, because of her race? Do you find yourself making judgements that are racially based?