South Africa have decided that their players will not take a knee for games during their upcoming limited-overs series against England. The team believe that they have already done enough to support the Black Lives Matter movement during the 3TC game earlier this year.
The South African players will consider wearing a black armband to show solidarity with the victims of gender-based violence as well as COVID-19 victims. Flags will fly at half-mast throughout the country, with South African president Cyril Ramaphosa announcing five national days of mourning.
The decision to take a knee before the 3TC game was sparked by comments from South Africa pacer Lungi Ngidi. However, South Africa coach Mark Boucher believes that the team 'have done what they needed to do' when it comes to dealing with racism.
Boucher feels that racism is an ongoing issue in South Africa, and if players feel that not enough is being done about the issue, they will have the opportunity to express their opinions.
"I have spoken to the Ngidi, who was driving the whole movement within our set-up. He is pretty happy that we have done what we needed to do, in particular at that (3TC) game," said Mark Boucher.
"There are a couple of other issues that our president has raised going forward with regards to gender-based violence and the COVID-19 victims. We are going to be addressing this with the team, so if there is a black armband to wear, we will probably be wearing it because of the president's call," added Boucher.
South Africa's history with racism makes the decision questionable
South Africa is a country that has a long history with racism, and the team's decision to stop taking a knee is questionable. The move is certainly controversial, considering how players across different sporting leagues are continuing to support the anti-racism movement.
Earlier this week, Pat Cummins confirmed that the Australian cricket team will form a barefoot circle before every series. This gesture will serve as an acknowledgement of Aboriginal Australia and to stand in solidarity against racism.
The English players took a knee during games against the West Indies, but not against Pakistan and Australia. They have come under criticism from former umpires John Holder and Ismail Dawood for not taking racism seriously. It will be interesting to see whether they decide to stand in solidarity against racism during the South Africa series.Published 19 Nov 2020, 16:23 IST