Former South Africa fast bowler, Makhaya Ntini is furious with the decision of the South African team to not take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in their home series against England. Ntini voices his opinion against Cricket South Africa’s director of cricket, Graeme Smith.
A few days ago, head coach Mark Boucher said the team would wear black armbands in support of the fight against gender-based violence and in commemoration of those who succumbed to the deadly Covid-19 rather than take the knee. While Ntini is fine with that, he is perplexed as to what could be the reason the team has decided not to take the knee.
Smith started this thing: Makhaya Ntini
Makhaya Ntini pointed out that everyone took the knee in the 3TC Solidarity Cup a few months ago when cricket resumed for the first time in the country in the covid era. In fact, he observed that Graeme Smith was the first person to take the knee; hence, Ntini questions what has changed from then to now?
“It is really disappointing to see that South Africa is not going to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement during the series against England.
“We had the 3TC Solidarity Cup event at SuperSport Park a few months ago during the lockdown where everyone took the knee. I am asking myself what has changed from then to now? “Graeme Smith, who is the Director of Cricket for CSA, was the first one to take the knee during the 3TC event in Pretoria,” Makhaya Ntini said.
The former pacer is uncertain as to why Smith won’t continue the tradition he started in South Africa cricket. He says that the former skipper should be man enough, and tell, or rather order the players in the dressing room to take the knee, as it was him who started it.
Makhaya Ntini continues, “All of this goes back to him because he started this thing, and he should not turn around and not want to do it again. He should be man enough, stand up and say this is what I have started and I want you guys [the Proteas] to go on and continue doing it.
“He should be the one who walks into that team meeting and say to the players and everyone ‘this is what I need you guys to do’ and then he walk out.”
After Boucher, Kagiso Rabada has said that the Black Lives Matter movement will always be relevant and he will keep supporting it. However, the team has decided not to kneel this time. South Africa will host England three T20Is and three ODI starting 27th November.