PICTURES | Graeme Smith, Makhaya Ntini side by side in taking a knee for Black Lives Matter

Graeme Smith, Makhaya Ntini and Francois Pienaar take the knee for the Black Lives Matter movement
Graeme Smith, Makhaya Ntini and Francois Pienaar take the knee for the Black Lives Matter movement
Lee Warren/Gallo Images

Cricket South Africa (CSA) Director of Cricket Graeme Smith took the knee alongside former Proteas bowler Makhaya Ntini at the Solidarity Cup at SuperSport Park, Centurion on Saturday. 

The inaugural Solidarity Cup was the first live sport event hosted in South Africa since the nationwide lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic.

All proceeds of The Solidarity Cup will go towards helping those in the cricket community who have suffered due to Covid-19.

READ: AB de Villiers, Aiden Markram star as Eagles win Solidarity Cup

Before the first ball was bowled at 11:00 on Saturday morning, all cricketers, staff and administrators took a knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Black Lives Matter movement has gained massive traction in South African cricket since fast bowler Lungi Ngidi revealed that he would take the matter into Proteas the dressing room.

Ngidi's views led to criticism on social media by former South African cricketers Rudi Steyn, Pat Symcox and Boeta Dippenaar, who argued that "all lives matter"

Since then 30 former Proteas - all of colour - signed and expressed their support for Ngidi and the Black Lives Matter movement.

READ | More revelations in SA cricket as Aya Myoli details alleged racial assault by Robbie Frylinck

On Friday, Ntini went on SABC's Morning Live and revealed that he often felt lonely throughout his international career.

Ntini, who played 101 Tests, 173 ODIs and 10 T20s, recalled an incident where he would run instead of using the team bus to commute between hotels and stadiums as his team-mates would often avoid sitting with him.

"People never understood why I was doing that and I would never say it to them. I was running away from that loneliness," said Ntini.

Ntini's heartbreaking confession went viral on social media with many calling for change in South African cricket.

CSA has been firm on their support of the movement, stating that they are "actively working to redress the inequalities of the past".

"CSA Board and CSA Exco stand with this group, and every other cricket player, coach and fan that believes that there is no place for racism of any kind in cricket. CSA encourages more current and former players and coaches to do the same," the organisation said in a statement.

Smith took to Twitter on Friday and stated that there was "no room for neutrality on this topic".

AB de Villiers, black lives matter, knee
AB de Villiers taking the knee at the Solidarity Cup for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Lungi Ngidi
Lungi Ngidi taking the knee for the Black Lives Matter movement at the Solidarity Cup
Graeme Smith, Makhaya Ntini and Francois Pienaar take the knee for the Black Lives Matter movement
Faf du Plessis
Faf du Plessis takes the knee for Kingfishers at the Solidarity Cup
Gallo Images Lee Warren/Gallo Images

- Compiled by Lynn Butler

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