Former South African players attack Ngidi for BLM stance; Sammy calls out their ignorance

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Ngidi was attacked by former South African cricketers for his BLM stance

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Former South African players attack Ngidi for BLM stance; Sammy calls out their ignorance

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SportsCafe Desk

07/10/2020

Darren Sammy has publicly condemned the comments of a set of former South African players who attacked pacer Lungi Ngidi on Social Media for showing solidarity to the Black Lives Matter movement. Boeta Dippenaar, Brian McMillan and Pat Symcox were among the cricketers who criticised Ngidi.

It was only a couple of days ago that the sport of Cricket took a collective and public stance against racism, as in what was an extremely powerful gesture, players of England and West Indies took a knee ahead of their first Test to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement. However, an unfortunate controversy surrounding the issue has erupted some 8,000 miles away from England as a set of former South African players have publicly criticised pacer Lungi Ngidi for showing support to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Responding to Ngidi’s comments, where he said racism is “something that we need to take very seriously and like the rest of the world is doing, make the stand,” a handful of ex-South African cricketers, including Boeta Dippenaar and Pat Symcox, expressed their dissatisfaction and labelled the pacer’s comments a ‘political agenda’. Each of the former cricketers who criticized Ngidi noted that the dismal situation of farmers in South Africa was a bigger issue that needed more addressing than the ongoing BLM movement. 

The war of words was started by Rudi Steyn, who played three Tests and an ODI for South Africa during the 1990s, when he took to Facebook to respond to Ngidi’s comments, stating: "I believe the Proteas should make a stand against racism, but if they stand up for [BLM] while ignoring the way white farmers are daily being 'slaughtered' (sic) like animals, they have lost my vote."

This was then followed by comments of support from the likes of Dippenaar, Symcox and McMillan. While Dippenaar, who played 38 Tests and 107 ODIs for the Proteas, said, "If you want me to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with you, Lungi, then stand shoulder-to-shoulder with me with regards to farm attacks,”  Brian McMillan, on the other hand, commented: "Opinions always accepted. But [Ngidi's] current one, in my opinion, is crap and political! All lives matter!"

Pat Symcox, who played 100 international games, meanwhile, also voiced his displeasure over Ngidi’s comments and said, “What nonsense is this. [Ngidi] must take his own stand if he wishes. Stop trying to get the Proteas involved in his belief ... 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."

While these comments have invoked controversy, Windies cricketer Darren Sammy, who was the first in the cricketing fraternity to publicly speak out against racism, voiced his support for young Ngidi. Sammy felt that comments like the ones made by these former Proteas cricketers are the reason why racial inequality still exists in the society. 

“The  fact that some past players have an issue with @NgidiLungi stance on #blacklivesmatter movement is actually the reason why we are still here today saying black lives matter. Smfh 😡😡😡#standupbrother we here with u,” Sammy wrote on Twitter. 

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