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'People like Pat Symcox are completely oblivious to issues of structural racism'

Some members of South Africa’s cricket fraternity are not pleased with the country’s one-day and Twenty20 international cricketer of the year, Lungi Ngidi.

On Monday, the 24-year-old Ngidi said that the Proteas should publicly support the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, much like sports teams around the world are doing right now.

This week during a test match between England and the West Indies, players took the knee and raised their fists against racial discrimination, particularly against Black people.

Lungi Ngidi. Picture: Twitter/@OfficialCSA

Like the United States (where BLM started), South Africa has a history of institutionalised racism.

Former Proteas Test players Pat Symcox and Boeta Dippenaar took to social media to criticise Ngidi, mentioning the murder of mainly white farmers.

“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," posted Symcox.

Dippenaar called BLM a “leftist political movement”, adding “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."

Cricket South Africa has publicly stated its support for the Black Lives Matter movement with (acting) CEO Jacques Faul on Thursday saying it was the organisation's duty to “educate, especially with regard to all forms of discrimination”.

Watch Windies legend-of-legends Michael Holding powerfully explaining why Black Lives Matter:

Lester Kiewit interviewed Niren Tolsi, a freelance journalist.

Tolsi is writing a book about politics and cricket in the global south.

Was I surprised by Graeme Smith’s lukewarm response…? Probably not… people like Pat Symcox and Boeta Dippenaar are completely oblivious to issues of structural racism… them and lots of white South Africans.

Niren Tolsi, freelance journalist

Cricket [in South Africa] has always been political… sport played a big roll in bring down the apartheid regime. But whiteness demands that we ignore all of this…

Niren Tolsi, freelance journalist

Michael Holding’s cricketing genius overshadows that of Pat Symcox in every aspect… A supremely talented, successful Black sportsman that cannot be questioned, whereas Lungi Ngidi – or Keshav Maharaj for that matter, or any other black South African player – is still considered by people such as Symcox and Dippenaar as substandard.

Niren Tolsi, freelance journalist

Listen to the interview in the audio below.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'People like Pat Symcox are completely oblivious to issues of structural racism'