Twitter users have come out in support of Proteas star Lungi Ngidi after he was criticised by former players for his stance on 'Black Lives Matter'.
CAPE TOWN – Twitter users have come out in support of Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi after he was attacked by former South African players for wanting the national cricket team to take a stand in line with the Black Lives Matter movement.
With the Proteas currently training in isolation, Ngidi said this week it had been difficult to discuss the Black Lives Movement, but that once together, the team will no doubt address the issue.
“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,” Ngidi said.
However, the former cricketers Rudi Steyn, Pat Symcox and Boeta Dippenaar took to social media to confront Ngidi about his comments, believing the 24-year-old would be better off discussing the recent upsurge of farm murders.
The agricultural sector has been hit by 26 farm murders since the start of the year, with the latest attack being a pregnant woman that was killed during a home invasion of her farm in Weenen in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend.
“I am afraid to say ‘Black Lives Matter’ have become nothing more than a leftist political movement. I would suggest Lungi Ngidi listens a bit more to the likes of Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Walter Williams and Milton Friedman. All lives matter. If you want me to stand shoulder to shoulder with you Lungi then stand shoulder to shoulder with me regards to farm attacks,” Dippenaar commented on Steyn’s Facebook post.
Symcox was equally critical of Ngidi, but stretched it further to the current crisis affecting Cricket South Africa.
“What nonsense is this. He must take his own stand if he wishes. Stop trying to get the 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,” he said.
“Now when Ngidi has his next meal perhaps he should rather consider supporting the farmers of South Africa who are under pressure right now. A cause worth supporting.”
However, many people on social media backed Ngidi.
International cricket commentator Natalie Germanos tweeted: “I am so saddened by what I am seeing. Some Comments by former players and fans are really disturbing. Just because you support one cause doesn’t mean you have no feelings towards other injustices. I stand by Lungi Ngidi.”
When the likes of Mark Boucher joined the “Save the Rhinos” cause it didn’t mean that they cared less about Lions & Elephants. They were never pressured to divert their attention to other causes
Lungi Ngidi’s support for BLM doesn’t mean he cares less about farm murders. pic.twitter.com/1SZH9L2GfP
— Blacks in Whites (@BlaqsInCricket) July 9, 2020
The Black Lives Movement was cast into the cricket spotlight on Wednesday morning when former West Indies fast bowler and current Sky Sports pundit Michael Holding delivered an emotional monologue centred on the discrimination of the black race and also white privilege ahead of the first Test between England and the Windies at the Ageas Bowl.
It was the first Test since the enforced break due to Covid-19. Both sets of players, team management and umpires took a knee before the start of play, with all the Windies players wearing a black glove on their right hand.
“Until we educate the entire human race, this thing will not stop.”
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 8, 2020
The West Indies also displayed a Black Lives Matter banner on their dressingroom balcony.