Comment on Black Lives Matter in a Zoom press conference has pulled South Africa’s One-Day and Twenty-20 international cricketer of the year Lungi Ngidi into the center of controversy recalling the uncomfortable recent past of the country. The 24-year old pacer said that he believed his team-mates should make a stand the next time the squad meets.
Ngidi said, “It’s definitely something that we will discuss once we are together in person.” He further added, “We have spoken about it and everyone is well aware of what’s going on. It’s a difficult one because we are not together, so it’s hard to discuss. But once we get back to playing that is definitely something we have to address as a team.”
Ngidi pointed to the history of racial discrimination in South Africa which included decades of segregation across all levels of society. He also mentioned that it is something they need to address and take it very seriously, like the rest of the world is doing, make a stand.
Ngidi followed up on his remarks by retweeting an extract from the impassioned comments on racism by former West Indian fast bowler Michael Holding at the ongoing first Test between England and the West Indies.
However, former South African Test players Pat Symcox and Boeta Dippenaar were among several who criticised Ngidi.
Both Symcox and Dippenaar raised the emotional question of a recent spate of murders in which, often in gruesome circumstances, many farmers, mostly white, were killed.
Dippenaar said he believes Black Lives Matter has become a leftist political movement.
Vince van der Bijl, a former fast bowler and ex-International Cricket Council (ICC) umpiring chief, supported Ngidi.