Proteas Test captain Dean Elgar says players have been given the right to perform whichever ‘gesture’ they choose in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Towards the end of last year, the Proteas indicated that they would not kneel, but instead raise a fist in solidarity with the BLM movement.
Now, ahead of the first Test against West Indies starting on Thursday, Elgar addressed the team’s approach, particularly in light of the home team’s firm stance in taking a knee.
‘We’ve given the players the right to perform whichever gesture they want to perform. If players are comfortable taking the knee, they may,’ Elgar said.
‘If a player wants to do the previous gesture that we had, which is raising the right fist, they are also entitled to do that. If players aren’t comfortable, they still need to stand to attention so that they respect the campaign that is rolling out.’
The Proteas have previously engaged in culture camps, and Elgar said there was clarity about ensuring every player felt comfortable.
‘We have come a long way with this topic and there are players who aren’t comfortable with a gesture and we’ve also come to the West Indies to respect their campaign as well,’ Elgar said.
‘It’s taken us a year to reach this point where every player has a right, has a sense of belonging within this team and we’ve come to the Caribbean not to disrespect the West Indies badge.’
© Agence France-Presse