Proteas

Rabada on Black Lives Matter: It was a team decision not to kneel

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Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada
Fast bowler Kagiso Rabada
Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images
  • Proteas fast bowler Kagiso Rabada says it's a team decision not to kneel for Black Lives Matter ahead of the England series.
  • Rabada, however, has stressed that the campaign remains important.
  • The Proteas will instead wear black armbands in support of the fight against gender-based violence and to mourn the victims of Covid-19.

Despite the Proteas not taking a knee ahead of the England series, fast bowler Kagiso Rabada insists the message on Black Lives Matter remains important.

Last week, Proteas head coach Mark Boucher confirmed that the national side would not be taking a knee in showing their support against racial injustice.

Instead, the team will wear black armbands in support of the fight against gender-based violence and in memory of those who lost their lives during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rabada, who has been vocal on Twitter on the Black Lives Matter movement which engulfed Cricket South Africa (CSA) this year, revealed that they decided as a team not to kneel.

"We spoke about it as a group and there's a lot of things to look at these days... To me, black lives matters and also we're looking at gender-based violence. All lives matter will always matter but the situation now is that black lives matter," Rabada told reporters on Monday.

"It's something that I will always stand for. It was a team decision not to kneel and I think it's important to devote ourselves to gender-based violence but Black Lives Matter will always be relevant and something that I'll always believe in. Mark has stated that the team won't be kneeling and that is how it's going to be."

Rabada acknowledged the platform he has and stated that he would continue to stand up for issues he deemed important.

For the first time in eight months, the Proteas are set to take to the field when they host England in three T20s and three ODIs.

"I think it's important when you have a platform as a sportsman, spreading the right message is important. It is a huge responsibility in the things that you say and things you stand up for," said Rabada.

"You've seen the roles sportsmen had to play in all the political movements that were happening during the lockdown. I expressed myself during Twitter, not getting into it too hectic, not writing essays or doctorates about it. At least I threw my two cents out."

READ | England's Chris Jordan respects Proteas' decision not to take a knee

Back in July, the Black Lives Matter movement became a hot topic in South African cricket after fast bowler Lungi Ngidi shared his support for the movement.

Ngidi's views caused a few ex-South African cricketers, including Rudi Steyn, Pat Symcox and Boeta Dippenaar to hit out, arguing that "all lives matter"

Since then former players of colour have shared their views, with some saying they were mistreated and experienced racial inequality, the most notably being former star bowler Makhaya Ntini's heartbreaking revelation.

Later in July, CSA launched the inaugural Solidarity Cup or 3TC, which was the first live sport event hosted in South Africa since the lockdown.

All players, coaches and management involved in CSA's 3TC product at Centurion took a knee in support of Black Lives Matter movement.

Then in August, a group of 32 players attended a Proteas culture camp in Skukuza where the team had an open and honest discussion by establishing a new culture.

- Compiled by Lynn Butler

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