Tennis quickly becomes Mathabane’s favorite sport, and Scaramouche proves himself a valuable mentor, both as a coach and a “surrogate father.” Scaramouche often states that if black athletes had the same resources as white athletes in South Africa, they would be producing many champions. Mathabane’s mother worries that tennis distracts him from his studies. Mathabane’s father thinks tennis is white and womanly, and threatens to “cure” Mathabane of his “white man’s behavior.”
Scaramouche’s claim suggests that, like education, black people’s lack of resources—which directly results from apartheid’s unjust laws—prevents them from reaching their full potential in athletics. This thereby stops them from making the same achievements as white people and contributes to the racist notion that black people are physically or intellectually inferior.