New Delhi [India], July 17 (ANI): South African cricketer Faf du Plessis on Friday shared a strong message against racism, stressing that "all lives do not matter until black lives matter".
Du Plessis took to Instagram to share a lengthy message and acknowledged that South Africa is "still hugely divided by racism" which requires "urgent attention".
"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," Du Plessis wrote.
"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," he added.
Du Plessis said he is commenting on the prevailing situation now because "if I wait to be perfect, I never will".
"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," he said.
"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 cricketer concluded.
Earlier, as many as 31 former and current domestic and international South African players, including Makhaya Ntini, Vernon Philander, JP Duminy, and Herschelle Gibbs signed a letter in support of bowler Lungi Ngidi and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The letter was also signed by five current coaches including national fielding coach Justin Ontong, ESPNCricinfo had reported.
As per a report in ESPNCricinfo, the letter is a collective effort aimed at showing solidarity with the anti-racism campaigns across the world. The letter has also urged Cricket South Africa (CSA) and the white cricketers to show their support towards the Black Lives Matter movement.
"We commend Lungi Ngidi for supporting #BlackLivesMatter and we would like to add our support for it too," the letter by the former and current Proteas cricketers had stated.
"We note the criticism aimed at Lungi for expressing his views -- and we hope that CSA, together with fellow cricketers both present and past will come out strongly in support of #BLM," it had added.
Ngidi had urged the CSA board to show their solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement and this came under criticism from former players such as Pat Symcox, Boeta Dippenaar, Rudi Steyn and Brian McMillan.
The Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum following the death of an African-American man named George Floyd, after a police officer, later identified as Derek Chauvin, pressed his knee on Floyd's neck in a viral video. (ANI)