Beautiful to see cricket take up Black Lives Matter fight, says Ngidi
CAPE TOWN - Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi says he was “emotional” watching the West Indies players raise their black-gloved hands prior to the start of the first Test against England at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday.
The Windies actions were part of a greater collective that also saw the England team, plus both teams’ entire support staff and the two on-field umpires take a knee in support of the Black Lives Movement ahead of the first Test since the enforced break due to Covid-19.
Ngidi, though, finds himself at the centre of a social media storm after former Proteas Pat Symcox, Rudi Steyn and Boeta Dippenaar criticised the 24-year-old for wanting to involve the entire Proteas team in the Black Lives Movement in an earlier statement.
Ngidi has, however, remained steadfast in his beliefs and feels even more “inspired” after witnessing the happenings in Southampton.
“It is beautiful to see every sporting code showing their support to the Black Lives Matter movement. I saw the West Indies had black gloves on. That's them taking a stand about what's happening and been happening,” Ngidi said on Thursday in a live interview with cricketfanaticsmag.com.
“It makes you emotional. It has been a very rough year. People are finally speaking out and it means a lot just to see the cricketing world step in, it is inspiring. There have, of course, been a lot of other things that have been inspiring, but especially as the sporting code that I am part of it was nice to see everyone come together and support each other.”
Ngidi’s rise to the Proteas team is an inspirational new South Africa tale. The recently-crowned Proteas T20 and ODI Player of the Year parents were both cleaners at Kloof Junior Primary School prior to his father’s passing in 2018 shortly after his Test debut.
Ngidi realises he is part of the fortunate minority to have received a scholarship to the prestigious Hilton College in Pietermaritzburg that enabled him to fulfil his potential. He therefore hopes that the current spotlight on equality will be able to help others in the future.
“Life is hard, lots of people encounter challenges, and you will not understand fully until you've actually been in their shoes. Don't ever let anyone look down on you because you are in a different situation to them. I don't believe that there is any one human that is better than another. I do believe we all have our own talents and we can achieve in our regards to what we want to achieve,” he said.
“I don't believe we should compare ourselves to others because certain people are afforded opportunities others never get. Life is different for all of us. Don't ever judge a book by its cover. It's been a rough 2020 for everyone. Let's be sympathetic. Let's help where we can. Just lend a helping hand where you can. My mom always says the hand that gives is the hand that receives.”
Cricket SA have yet to officially comment on how they will tackle the Black Lives Movement with Director of Cricket Graeme Smith only saying that “we’re discussing various ways of handling it” and that “we need to figure out how we can be effective about it, also authentic, and spread the messages that are meaningful to us as South Africans.”