Former South African cricketers criticise Lungi Ngidi over 'Black Lives Matter' stance
Former South African cricketers Pat Symcox and Boeta Dippenaar along with wicketkeeper Rudi Steyn slammed the pacer Lungi Ngidi for extending his support to the historical ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement. Lungi recently favoured the protests against racism as “something that we need to take very seriously and like the rest of the world is doing, make the stand.”
However, the comments made by the 24-year-old pacer didn’t go well with a handful of South African cricketers who criticized him publicly for speaking in favor of BLM. They also bashed Lungi for not saying anything against the attacks done on white farmers in his own country.
Former wicketkeeper Rudi Steyn shared an article on his official Facebook page stating that the Proteas should focus more on the discrimination going in their own country rather than being concerned about the citizens of other nations. Cricketers Dippenaar and Symcox also supported the words of Rudi in his comment section by degrading the people who chose to support the BLM movement.
“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,” wrote Steyn, who has played just three Tests and one ODI for South Africa.
Dippenaar, who has represented South Africa in 38 Tests and 107 ODIs said, “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 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.
Former off-spinner Symcox, who played 20 Tests and 80 ODIs for South Africa, also expressed his disappointment over the statement made by Lungi Ngidi.
“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 would rather consider supporting the farmers of South Africa who are under pressure right now. A cause worth supporting,” Symcox added.
We support Lungi Ngidi: SACA
Though Lungi had to face criticism from his fellow cricketers, he was backed by the South African Cricketers Association (SACA) saying that they support the concept of athlete activist and the comments directed at the pacer are ‘unfair’.
“At SACA, we support the concept of the athlete activist. Ultimately, individual activism translates to collective activism and it can lead to institutional change,” CEO Andrew Breetzke told ESPNcricinfo.
“We support Lungi in exercising his right to express his support for the BLM movement and we believe the unfair criticism directed at him undermines that right,” he added.