Former Proteas Dippenaar, Symcox criticised after laying into Ngidi over Black Lives Matter stance

Pat Symcox (Gallo Images)
Pat Symcox (Gallo Images)

Former South African cricketers Boeta Dippenaar and Pat Symcox have launched broadsides at Proteas fast bowler Lungi Ngidi for his stance on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement.

Various sporting codes around the world have seen players engaged in gestures supporting the initiative, notably bending their knees before matches or wearing logos.

Ngidi, who was named SA's men's ODI and T20 Cricketer-of-the-Year at the annual CSA awards this past weekend, noted earlier this week that such action would be a collective decision, but one that needs to be taken "seriously".

"It's definitely something I believe we would be addressing as a team," Ngidi said.

"And if we're not, it's obviously something that I would bring up. It's something that we need to take seriously, like the rest of the world is doing. We need to make a stand."

In a Facebook post earlier this week, Rudi Steyn, himself a former Proteas batsman, posted that he agreed with Ngidi's stance that the national team should make a stand against racism.

However, the former Free State batsman added they have "lost my vote" if the issue of farm murders in South Africa does not receive equal coverage.

"I believe the Proteas should make a stand against racism, but if they stand up for 'black lives matter' while ignoring the way white farmers are daily being 'slaughtered' like animals, they have lost my vote," Steyn wrote, accompanied by an article of Ngidi urging SA cricketers to consider the Black Lives Matter stance.

Steyn's post generated a heated debate, with several former cricketers getting involved.

Dippenaar and Symcox made it clear that they were not in agreement with Ngidi.

Former opening batsman Dippenaar wrote: "I am afraid to say 'Black Lives Matter’ have become nothing more than leftist political movement. I would suggest that Lungi Ngidi listens a bit more to likes of Thomas Sowell, Larry Elder, Walter Williams and Milton Friedman.

"All lives matter. If you want me to stand shoulder to shoulder with you Lungi then stand shoulder to shoulder with me with regards to farm attacks."

Former off-spinner Symcox added: "What nonsense is this. He must take his own stand if he wishes. Stop trying to get Proteas involved in his belief. Besides the fact that right now Cricket South Africa should be closed down. A proper dog and pony show with cricket being dragged through the mud daily. Buy popcorn and watch.

"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."

The posts drew noticeable criticism directed at both Symcox and Dippenaar from social media users.

Other well-known former cricketers also added their voice.

Former Transvaal all-rounder Vince van der Bijl wrote: "Respect is allowing others to have their opinions. You are allowed yours. We do not have the space to state all the things that we talk about. And agree on. Saying one thing does not exclude other beliefs. We ache for so many things in this country. Hopefully we can help the healing as opposed to widen the divides."

Another former Transvaal all-rounder Hugh Page said: "In my opinion all lives matter!", with former Proteas all-rounder Brian McMillan adding: "Agreed Pagey. ...... All lives do matter. The sooner everyone acknowledges it the better ....".

- Compiled by Herman Mostert

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