We stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement - Cricket SA
JOHANNESBURG – Cricket South Africa (CSA), in a public statement on Thursday, confirmed its support for the worldwide Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.
The statement was released shortly after a public outcry from former national cricketers following current Proteas player Lungi Ngidi’s comment on the BLM movement.
Cricket SA stated unequivocally that it “stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.”
“CSA was founded on the principles of non-racialism and inclusion at unity. The vision of CSA, to become a truly national sport of winners supported by the majority, finds resonance in the ethos of “Black Lives Matter”.
“Our cricket development programmes have proven demonstrably that we strive to work towards the constitutional promise of a redress and equality for all.”
Cricket united. An incredibly powerful moment. pic.twitter.com/2rSuTx4IPz— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 8, 2020
Ngidi’s comments on BLM followed the worldwide response to the cause of the movement which is no longer confined to the United States.
At the start of Day 1 of the test between hosts England and the West Indies at the Ageas Bowl, players and management from both sides, as well as match officials were seen taking the knee. The words ‘Black Lives Matters’ were displayed on players’ shirts, while a banner with the same words could be seen on the West Indies team balcony.
The Proteas fast bowler on Wednesday commented that, when the national team has a chance to get together as a group following the Covid-19 lockdown, they will no doubt address the issue (of a response to the BLM movement).
He said: "As a nation as well, we have a past that is also difficult in terms of racial discrimination and things like that. So, definitely, we will be addressing it as a team. It’s something we have to take seriously and like the rest of the world is doing, take a stand.”
However, Ngidi was publicly criticized by former national players such as Boeta Dippenaar, Rudi Steyn and Pat Symcox via social media.
At the conclusion of Day 1 of the England v West Indies test, Ngidi said 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.
However, following the social media outburst overnight Ngidi stated that he remained steadfast in his beliefs and feels even more “inspired” after witnessing the happenings in Southampton.
In Thursday’s press release, Cricket South Africa Acting CEO, Dr Jacques Faul, said:
“Black Lives Matter. It is as simple as that. 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.
“During our celebrations of Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July, CSA will further spread the message of anti-racism through the BLM campaign while we also speak out against all forms of violence and in particular, the scourge that is Gender Based Violence and various other causes that are of importance to our society and the organization.”