Proteas

Lungi Ngidi on different Black Lives Matter stances: We're not divided

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Kagiso Rabada (Photo by Randy Brooks / AFP)
Kagiso Rabada (Photo by Randy Brooks / AFP)
  • Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi said there wasn't division in the team despite their different ways of observing the Black Lives Matter movement in the first Test against the West Indies in St Lucia.
  • Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada and several other players took the knee, while Dean Elgar and Aiden Markram among others raised their fists.
  • Ngidi's 5/19 helped South Africa bowl the West Indies out for 97, from where SA responded with 128/4.

Proteas pace bowler Lungi Ngidi said there wasn't division in the team despite their different ways of observing the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement at the start of the first Test against the West Indies in St Lucia.

The majority of the team, including Ngidi, took the knee while Wiaan Mulder, Aiden Markram, Dean Elgar and Anrich Nortje raised their fists.

Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock stood at attention before the game as the West Indies players and team management, along with that of South Africa's took the knee.

At the height of the BLM matters last year after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Ngidi was the first player who said there needs to be a conversation around BLM.

He was attacked by former white Test players, but Ngidi received an upwelling of support from black former and current cricketers.

Ngidi said he remained firm with his views, but said his team-mates' choices also needed to be respected.

"Not at all. We come from a diverse country and to be honest, I don't think its fair for me to speak for other people," Ngidi said.

"Everyone is entitled to their own choice and I have been very clear on my stance, but in terms of the team, there was no division at all.

"You could see in the way we were playing, everyone was happy for everyone. We play for South Africa and that's all we try to do as players."

In the pre-match press conference, captain Elgar said players had a choice to observe BLM in a manner that was comfortable for them.

This was reiterated by Ngidi, who then proceeded to take 5/19 which helped skittle the West Indies out for 97, their lowest Test total against South Africa.

"It was exactly that. Everyone was entitled to their own choice. Anything you wanted to do, you could do," Ngidi said.

"It was that simple."

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