Even as England and West Indies players took the knee to show combined support to Black Lives Matter campaign ahead of the ongoing Test match in Southampton, South Africa fast bowler Lungi Ngidi has come under attack for his support to the movement against racism.
Lungi Ngidi had urged the South African team to take a stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, saying he would bring it up if the Proteas decide against it.
“It [lending support to the Black Lives Matter movement) is definitely something I believe we would be addressing as a team. And if we’re not, it’s obviously something that I would bring up. It’s something that we need to take seriously, like the rest of the world is doing. We need to make a stand,” Ngidi had said earlier this week.
However, his comments haven’t gone down well with a few former South African cricketers who are saying ‘all lives matter’.
‘Nothing more than a leftist political movement’
Former South Africa opener Boeta Dippenaar, in a sharp post on social media, has hit out at Ngidi, saying Black Lives Matter movement is turning into ‘nothing more than a leftist political movement’.
Dippenaar, who represented South Africa in 38 Tests and 107 ODIs, urged Ngidi to support the campaign against the killing of white farmers in South Africa if he needs his support for Black Lives Matter campaign.
“I am afraid to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ have become nothing more than leftist political movement. I would suggest that Lungi Ngidi listens a bit more to likes of Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Walter Williams and Milton Friedman,” Dippenaar said.
“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.”
‘Stop trying to get Proteas involved in his beliefs’
Former all-rounder Pat Symcox was more critical of Lungi Ngidi, saying he should stop trying to get the entire South African team involved in his beliefs.
“What nonsense is this? He must take his own stand if he wishes. Stop trying to get Proteas involved in his belief. Besides the fact that right now Cricket South Africa should be closed down. A proper dog and pony show with cricket being dragged through the mud daily. Buy popcorn and watch,” Symcox said.
This is the most on-brand Pat Symcox you get. His lack of historical perspective is, at best, complacent; at worst, it’s clear prejudice.
— Nick Piper (@nickpiper_risk) July 9, 2020
Former batsman Rudy Steyn said: “I believe the Proteas should make a stand against racism, but if they stand up for ‘black lives matter’ while ignoring the way white farmers are daily being ‘slaughtered’ like animals, they have lost my vote.”
When Michael Holding hit back at criticism against BLM
The criticism against Ngidi comes a day after West Indies great Michael Holding, in a powerful speech, showcased his support for Black Lives Matter campaign.
Holding, who was speaking to Sky Sports after his powerful BLM documentary with former England cricketer Ebony Rainford-Brent, lashed out against the criticism against BLM movement.
“We are all humans and I hope everyone understands this Black Lives Movement is not trying to get Black people above white people or above anyone else.
“It’s all about equality. When you tell somebody that ‘Black Lives Matter’ and they tell you white lives matter or all lives matter. Please…
“We Black people know white lives matter. I don’t think you know that Black lives matter. So don’t shout back at us saying, all Lives Matter. It’s obvious. The evidence is clearly there that white lives matter. We want Black lives to matter now. As simple as that,” Holding said.
Meanwhile, Director of Cricket of Cricket South Africa, Graeme Smith on Thursday said the Proteas are looking at ways to play their roles in the Black Lives Matter movement while acknowledging Ngidi’s comment.
“Lungi answered it very well when he said we are all in our own little pockets, and I think it’s important that in the future we all come together and figure out how we can play our role in the BLM movement; how we can be effective in doing that,” Smith said.