Former South African fast bowler Makhaya Ntini (43) said on Friday that he too was a victim of apartheid. He has always been alone in the team. No fellow players even sat and ate food with them. Antini has taken 662 international wickets in his career. This includes 390 Tests, 266 ODIs, and 6 T20 wickets.
On May 25 in the US, black George Floyd was killed by police brutality. Since then, the 'Black Lives Matter' movement against apartheid started worldwide. In the ongoing Test series between West Indies-England, the players sat on their knees and supported it.
'I was also kept away from team tactics'
"I have always been alone," Antini said in an interview with a media group in South Africa. I could not even call anyone to eat food. Used to eat alone. The fellow players did not even involve me in the strategy of the match. No one sat with me when I went to the breakfast room. "Ntini has shared the dressing room with big players like Sean Pollack, Jack Kallis, Lance Klusner and Mark Boucher in his time.
'The whole responsibility of defeat was passed on to me'
In the last couple of months I have realized that we must choose our battles. We are surrounded by many injustices in our country that require urgent attention and action to fix them. If we wait only for the ones that attack us personally, we will always live for “my way vs your way” and that way leads us nowhere. So I’ve remained silent, with the intent to listen, but not respond. Slowing down my point of view, but quicker to hear the pain of someone else. I knew that words would be lacking and that my understanding is not close to where it needs to be. I surrender my opinions and take the knee as an intercessor. I acknowledge that South Africa is still hugely divided by racism and it is my personal responsibility to do my best to emphasize, hear the stories, learn and then be part of the solution with my thoughts, words and actions I have gotten it wrong before. Good intentions were failed by a lack of perspective when I said on a platform that - I don’t see colour. In my ignorance I silenced the struggles of others by placing my own view on it. A race problem is a human race problem, if one part of the body hurts ,we all stop, we empathize, we get perspective, we learn and then we tend to the hurting part of the body. So I am saying that all lives don’t matter UNTIL black lives matter. I’m speaking up now, because if I wait to be perfect, I never will. I want to leave a legacy of empathy. The work needs to continue for the change to come and whether we agree or disagree, conversation is the vehicle for change.
The former fast bowler said, "We used to wear the same dress and sing the same national anthem, but I always remained different. I never complained about this to a partner. I just kept doing my work. I used to sit at the back of the bus, then fellow players would get up and go to sit forward. Everyone used to celebrate in the team's victory, but the entire responsibility of the defeat was put on me. "
'My son Thando is also a victim of racism'
"My son Thando is also a victim of racism and he also feels lonely," Antini said. When he played in the Under-19 World Cup, he was barred from going to camp. "20-year-old Thando has not yet made his debut in the national team. Thando has taken 20 wickets in 7 First-Class matches.
Support of 30 African cricketers including Faf du Plessis and Lungi Ngidi
Former South African captain Faf du Plessis has supported the 'Black Lives Matter' movement against apartheid. He said in an Instagram post that as long as the world does not give importance to black people, no one's life matters. Before du Plessis, more than 30 South African cricketers, including fast bowler Lungi Ngidi, have supported the 'Black Lives Matter' movement. However, it has also drawn criticism from some of the team's players such as Boeta Dipenaar, Pat Simcox, and Rudy Stein.