Proteas Team Director Mark Boucher says that the team will not make further gestures of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement during the upcoming series against England.
Proteas won’t ‘take a knee’
Boucher is satisfied that the team environment has benefitted from the culture camp held in the Kruger Park earlier this year and says the Proteas are committed to embracing transformation.
The team director addressed a virtual media conference on Thursday and declared they would not be taking a knee but rather fostering a culture of respect within the team.
Boucher insists that team management will welcome constructive criticism and listen to any grievances players might have.
Black armbands for COVID-19 and GBV victims
The Proteas are likely to wear black armbands in response to President Cyril Ramaphosa’s calls for a period of national mourning for the victims of COVID-19 and gender-based violence.
“I have spoken to the guy (Lungi 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 game,” Boucher said
“There are a couple of other issues that our president has raised going forward with regards to gender-based violence and the victims of Covid19. 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.”
Boucher said that it was up to the team as a whole to live out their agreed-upon core values which include the rejection of racism.
“It’s an ongoing thing for us,” Boucher said. “It’s not something that we have to continue to show. It’s something that you have to live. That is exactly what we are trying to doing our dressing room at the moment with a big squad. If guys who brought it up are happy with it, that’s great, but if they feel we have to do more, that will be a chat and that they are open to express their opinions. Our new value system is about respect, empathy and belonging and all of those lead to an environment where guys feel free to talk about these hard issues. They’ve got the support and respect and empathy from every other player.”
Proteas team Director Mark Boucher
England await Proteas
Next Friday 27 November, the Proteas are set to play their first match since they were called home from their tour of India in March as the country went into lockdown.
The Proteas will face England in three T20Is followed by three ODIs, the matches will be split between the two international venues in the Western Cape, namely Newlands and Boland Park.
England beat the Proteas 2-1 in their T20I series in South Africa earlier this year while they shared a three-match ODI series.