Sat, 23 Jan 2021

Cape Town [South Africa], July 16 (ANI): Cricket South Africa (CSA), its board of directors and executive committee have once again reaffirmed their support towards the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, and its relevance in South Africa.

Earlier, 31 former and current Proteas cricketers had signed a letter showcasing their support towards the Black Lives Matter campaign and pacer Lungi Ngidi.

"We note the claims of discrimination and racism that have been made by current and former players and coaches, and we acknowledge that these are a part of the sport's past, and sadly, its present. We have to face the reality, as management and custodians of the game, that we need to come up with creative, tangible and meaningful ways to address this - even more, than we have done already - to make sure that they are not part of our future," the CSA said in an official statement.

"CSA welcomes the statement of support for Lungi Ngidi's BLM stance, made by 31 players and coaches, and the 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," it added.

Thirty-one former and current domestic and international South African players, including Makhaya Ntini, Vernon Philander, JP Duminy, and Herschelle Gibbs signed a letter in support of Lungi Ngidi and the Black Lives Matter movement.

The letter was also signed by five current coaches including national fielding coach Justin Ontong, ESPNCricinfo had reported.

As per a report in ESPNCricinfo, the letter is a collective effort aimed at showing solidarity with the anti-racism campaigns across the world. The letter has also urged Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the white cricketers to show their support towards the Black Lives Matter movement.

"We commend Lungi Ngidi for supporting BlackLivesMatter and we would like to add our support for it too," the letter by the former and current Proteas cricketers stated.

"We note the criticism aimed at Lungi for expressing his views -- and we hope that CSA, together with fellow cricketers both present and past will come out strongly in support of BLM," it said.

Earlier, Lungi Ngidi had urged the CSA board to show their solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement and this came under criticism from former players such as Pat Symcox, Boeta Dippenaar, Rudi Steyn and Brian McMillan.

Taking note of the letter signed by Proteas players, CSA further said: "At an executive and administration level, 52 of the 64 full-time CSA employees are Black, as is the current President and Chairman of the Board. Ten of the 12 Board members are Black, of which six are Black African.""Two hundred and forty-four of the 261 nationally accredited men's coaches in South Africa are Black, and nine of the 15 nationally accredited women's coaches are Black. Seventy-two of the 115 nationally accredited male referees and umpires in the men's game are black, while six of the 15 umpires and referees in the women's game are black," it added.

The Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum following the death of an African-American man named George Floyd, after a police officer, later identified as Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee on Floyd's neck in a viral video.

During the first Test between England and West Indies last week, players from both sides had taken a knee to show their solidarity against racism. (ANI)

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