SA pacer Lungi Ngidi criticised by former cricketers for taking BLM stand

Image Courtesy: Reuters/TOI
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South Africa speedster Lungi Ngidi has come in the limelight after his comment about Black Lives Matter in a Zoom press conference recently. Ngidi, 24, said that he believed his team-mates should make a stand when they would meet. Black Lives Matter is a very sensitive matter which has been going on in the nation for quite some time now.

Image Courtesy: Reuters/TOI

“It’s definitely something that we will discuss once we are together in person,” said Lungi Ngidi. “We have spoken about it and everyone is well aware of what’s going on. It’s a difficult one because we are not together, so it’s hard to discuss. But once we get back to playing that is definitely something we have to address as a team.”

He opened up about South Africa’s history of racial discrimination which also included decades of segregation across the society. He also said that they need to take a stand the way the rest of the world is doing.

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He, however, retweeted an extract of former West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding’s comments about racism at the ongoing first Test between England and the West Indies which didn’t go well with many. Even former South Africa players Pat Symcox and Boeta Dippenaar criticised Lungi Ngidi.

“When Ngidi has his next meal perhaps he would rather consider supporting the farmers of South Africa who are under pressure right now. A cause worth supporting,” tweeted Symcox.

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Dippenaar also added that he believed Black Lives Matter had become a “leftist political movement.” He shared: “All lives matter. If you want me to stand shoulder to shoulder with you Lungi then stand shoulder to shoulder with me with regards to farm attacks.”

However, Symcox also praised Holding for his comments on the matter but that didn’t prevent them from being rebuked on social media.

On the other hand, Vince van der Bijl who was a former pace bowler and ex-International Cricket Council umpiring chief backed Lungi Ngidi for his comments.

“I stand alongside Lungi Ngidi in BLM,” he wrote on Facebook. “I really believe we as cricketers have it in us to help heal these great divides in privilege, race, religion and attitudes.”

While Cricket South Africa director of cricket Graeme Smith said that they were in the talk how to handle all the things but he also said that no Black Lives Matter logo would be used on the shirts after the lockdown-ending three-team match on July 18 as the kits had already been printed before.

Moreover, on Thursday, Cricket South Africa chief executive Jacques Faul said: “Black Lives Matter. It is as simple as that.”

In a statement, he further added: “As a national sporting body representing more than 56 million South Africans and with the privileged position of owning a platform as large as we do, it is of vital importance that we use our voice to educate and listen to others on topics involving all forms of discrimination.”

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