OPEN LETTER TO THE PROTEAS | The team should take the knee

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Anrich Nortje celebrates Proteas wicket
Anrich Nortje celebrates Proteas wicket
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Jay-Dee Kellies has written an open letter to Mark Boucher, Quinton de Kock and the Proteas team about not taking the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

I write this letter as one of the most fervent cricket fans in our country (according to a story told by my mother, my first heartache came at the 1999 Cricket World Cup), and as someone who also once harboured hopes of representing my country in cricket.

However, as a patriot, I felt obliged to write this letter after reading comments from Mark Boucher that we will not be taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

I would firstly like to remind you that, as a country, we are so deeply-rooted by our diversities. Terms like a "Rainbow Nation" do not automatically ensure that everyone jumps on board with respecting and loving our diversity. Our history has taught us that it was once legal for people to discriminate based purely on race, that it was once legal to have no regard for black lives.

The abolishment of such laws and the transition into a democratic country are not just automatically going to vanish people's way of life. Racism was (and, to a certain extent, still is) a way of life for many people in South Africa, as our laws made it perfectly normal.

It is rather disappointing, then, that other countries, with less harsh levels of racist history, are more sympathetic to the cause of Black Lives Matter. In the UK, for example, before every single Premier League fixture, the match starts with every single player and referee, going down on one knee. We see it in Formula 1 too, where drivers from various countries also show their support.

It becomes very difficult to fathom how our country, with our history, is not at the forefront of this.

I understand the sensitivity needed to show toward our white compatriots, but we should not lose sight that white lives have always mattered.

In saying that black lives matter, we do not say that white lives do not.

To you, Mark Boucher, I just want to say that, when you say "save the rhinos", it certainly does not mean that you care any less about the other animals.

I hope this reaches the team, who I absolutely adore, before the first T20.

I hope that this leads to action. I hope we win and I wish you the best of luck against the English.

- Jay-Dee Kellies

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