Racial segregation did not begin with the election of the Afrikaner nationalist government in 1948. The National Party merely tightened and fortified existing practices and laws first established nearly a century earlier. Afrikaner nationalists, however, pursued segregation with a vigour and maliciousness neither envisaged nor anticipated by earlier generations and, moreover, they adopted rigid racial policies precisely as other racist states began to redress racial discrimination and grievances. Unlike Englishspeaking South Africans, many of whom felt that 'nationalism was an alien and perhaps unnecessary ideology',2 Afrikaners subscribed to an aggressive, politico-cultural, racially exclusive nationalism. While the former's close ties of language and kinship to Britain gave them a sense of identity based on 'diffuse notions of race',3 Afrikaner nationalism developed as an intense form of race patriotism. One cannot ignore the history of ideas about race, the legitimization of those ideas, and their implementation in official policy. This history illustrates that no social practice was immune from racism - not even sport. While contemporary thought tends to reify and idealize sport as a practice that transcends racism, South African history offers a sober reminder that sport is a political project inextricably tied to nationalism.