Proteas

Ashwell Prince speaks up on racism in cricket: 'Our system is broken'

Ashwell Prince
Ashwell Prince
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  • Former Test middle-order batsman Ashwell Prince has stood behind Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi on his Black Lives Matter stance.
  • Prince took to social media and said he believes that the South African cricket system is broken.
  • Prince remembers an incident in 2005 when some of the South African cricket team were racially abused in Australia... but the matter was later dismissed.

Former Proteas batsman Ashwell Prince was inspired by West Indian legend Michael Holding's anti-racism stance and has taken to social media to share his story.

In the build-up towards the opening Test between England and West Indies at Ageas Bowl, Holding delivered a powerful message on the need for education to stamp out racism.

Prince, who played 66 Tests, 52 ODIs and ine T20 for the Proteas, took to Twitter on Friday to share his views on the Black Lives Matter movement, and then related it to the racial inequality in South African cricket.

In a Twitter thread, Prince said that the "system is broken" and that "it will require thought, honest, uncomfortable conversation" to be fixed.

"The system is broken and has been for some time in our beloved SA, both in society and in sport. We return from isolation and we say to the world, 'look at us, we're back, oh by the way, there's still no black people who can play the game, but we brought a few along'.

"How's it all going to fix itself, I don't have the answers. BUT IT WILL REQUIRE TOUGH HONEST UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATION.

"People ask 'what would you like to see?' I WOULD LOVE TO SEE AN INTEGRATED SOCIETY?"

Prince remembered and explained racist attacks made towards black South Africans on their tour to Australia in 2005. According to Prince, the incidents were dismissed by "the leadership".

"Literally every WC since, or poor series blamed on TRANSFORMATION, or otherwise translated if you like, 'because we have to play with these people'. 2016 in India, ZONDO selected by selectors, IN THE STARTING 11 ( I know, because I was a selector). Zondo doesn’t play? Why?"

READ | SACA voices support for Lungi Ngidi, encourages freedom of expression

Earlier this week, Proteas seamer Lungi Ngidi took a stand behind the Black Lives Matter movement, revealing that he would be eager to address the issue in the Proteas dressing room.

"It's something that we need to take seriously, like the rest of the world is doing. We need to make a stand," said Ngidi.

This then led to highly-criticised social media posts written by Rudi Steyn, Pat Symcox and Boeta Dippenaar. 

The former South African cricketers refused to support the Black Lives Matter campaign, believing that the scourge of farm attacks and murders across the country is a more important issue to address.

This received massive backlash from the cricketing community with the majority of them siding with Ngidi.

Sport24's Lloyd Burnard spoke to Dippenaar on Friday and maintained his view that "All lives should matter".

"I think the intentions around Black Lives Matter were probably noble in the beginning, but the views of its founding members are fundamentally Marxist... What does it (BLM) really stand for? I posted my views and made it clear that, in my opinion, all lives matter," said Dippenaar.

Cricket South Africa's interim CEO Jacques Faul expressed support for the battle against racial discrimination.

"Black Lives Matter. It is as simple as that," said Faul in a press release on Thursday.

The South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) on Friday voiced its "strong" support for Ngidi, stating that the fast bowler was allowed freedom of expression.

"'We must, therefore, respect Lungi, as a sporting role model, when he exercises his freedom of expression on the important matter of racial discrimination. To subject him to unfair criticism is to undermine his right," said CEO of SACA, Andrew Breetzke.

- Compiled by Lynn Butler.

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