'I stand with Lungi': Mzansi backs Lungi Ngidi on Black Lives Matter stance
Many have rallied to the defence of Proteas' fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, after criticism from former players of his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.
This week Ngidi made headlines after pointing out SA's history of racial discrimination and calling for his teammates to take a stand against racism the next time they meet.
“It's definitely something that we will discuss once we are together in person,” said Ngidi.
“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 followed up his remarks by retweeting former West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding's comments about racism and why the Black Lives Matter movement is important.
"Don't shout back at us about 'all lives matter', it's obvious - the evidence is clearly there that white lives matter. We want black lives to matter now, it's as simple as that."— Sky Sports (@SkySports) July 8, 2020
Michael Holding and @ejrainfordbrent explain why #BlackLivesMatter.pic.twitter.com/a32dRwj8bV
"Even if it's a baby step at a time. Even a snail's pace. But I'm hoping it will continue in the right direction. Even at a snail's pace, I don't care"— SkyNews (@SkyNews) July 9, 2020
Michael Holding fights back tears as he recalls the prejudice faced by his parents.https://t.co/iOm40vn1kt pic.twitter.com/BhYXRbtyd1
However, Ngidi's comments did not sit well with former Proteas batsman Rudi Steyn, who shared an article on his Facebook page, with former Protea players Boeta Dippenaar and Pat Symcox expressing their criticism in the comments section.
Steyn suggested that the 24-year-old should be discussing the recent farm murders.
“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,” he said.
In the comment section, Dippenaar, who featured in 38 Tests and 107 ODIs for SA between 1999 and 2007, said the Black Lives Matter movement was nothing more than a “leftist political movement”.
“I am afraid to say 'Black Lives Matter' has become nothing more than a leftist political movement.
“I would suggest that 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 with regards to farm attacks,” he added.
Symcox, who played 20 Tests and 80 ODIs for SA, also weighed in, saying Ngidi must take his own stand and not get the “Proteas involved in his belief”.
“What nonsense is this. He must take his own stand if he wishes. Stop trying to get the Proteas involved in his belief,” Symcox said.
“Besides the fact that right now Cricket SA should be closed down. A proper dog-and-pony show with cricket being dragged through the mud daily. Buy popcorn and watch.
“Now when Ngidi has his next meal perhaps he would rather consider supporting the farmers of SA who are under pressure right now. A cause worth supporting,” Symcox added.
However, taking to Twitter to “clear up the issue”, Symcox said he supports Ngidi's stance.
To clear up the issue - I too support @NgidiLungi stance of eradicating all forms of racism in sport. My own grassroots work done weekly attempts to ensure all get a fair chance. I also believe that ALL Lives matter and right now Farmers are critical to us All and need support pic.twitter.com/K9epB18wAW— Pat Symcox (@PatSymcox77) July 9, 2020
The former cricketers' comments sparked a debate and many backed Ngidi. Here is a snapshot of what some had to say.
I am so saddened by what I am seeing. Some Comments by former players and fans are really disturbing— Natalie Germanos 🏏 (@NatalieGermanos) July 9, 2020
Just because you support one cause doesn’t mean you have no feelings towards other injustices
I stand by Lungi Ngidi
Injustice is injustice!— Tabraiz Shamsi (@shamsi90) July 9, 2020
Whether it's against white , black or brown people....
Whether its against the people of colour or white farmers or anybody else got that matter
All this nonsense needs to stop!
I want 2 be clear on this! I support Lungi Ngidi's stance on #BLM I am disappointed with the unfortunate stance of some former Proteas cricketers on the matter. I also condemn farm murders in SA as well as women & children abuse. #AllLivesMattter is possible if #Blacklivesmatter— Alviro Petersen (@AlviroPetersen) July 9, 2020
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— Blacks in Whites (@BlaqsInCricket) July 9, 2020
Lungi Ngidi's support for BLM doesn't mean he cares less about farm murders. pic.twitter.com/1SZH9L2GfP