Photo Credit: Cricket Ireland
As an act of solidarity with our cricket friends in South Africa, and as part of our commitment to promote an anti-racism ethos in sport and the community, we publish the Proteas BLM Statement below.
We as the Proteas team, reaffirm our support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) campaign. Its relevance in society as a whole and in the arena of sport as a movement that stands for equality and justice across all races, ethnicities religions and creeds continues to grow and so too, shall our support. Our internal discussions on the topic also grow in that vein, they are ever-evolving and we, now more than ever, renew our commitment to continuing to do this work together.
We come from a society that has painfully learned and is still learning, to embrace and understand better, one another’s differences because they make us stronger as a team and as a country. We take those same differences in culture, religious beliefs, upbringing and language to the field with us, even though we play under one flag.
In light of those differences, we choose to allow every member of the team to mark the gesture of taking the knee in the way that they feel is appropriate.
Why now, some might ask. The answer is simply that we as a team, are on an ongoing journey of learning and understanding of one another, of topics such as BLM as well as many other issues of importance together as a team. If and when that journey includes new learnings and an evolution in our thoughts and understanding, this may result in new approaches to these critical issues to reflect that growth.
In our Team Culture Camp in Skukuza last year, we placed Respect, Empathy and Belonging as the pillars of our values system and in this journey of growth, compassion and understanding of one another, have decided that we will not compromise our principles for the optics of a perceived “team” gesture. We are individuals and our freedom of individual expression is enshrined in the greatest constitution in the world.
We hope that moving forward, the people of South Africa and the West Indies, the cricket-loving public and fans of the Proteas from around the world, can take our reactions and our actions as a team and as individuals within the team, with the respect that we give them.