George Floyd’s death in the USA has triggered the Black Live Matter campaign worldwide. Not only American natives but also players from South Africa and West Indies have also raised voice in support to end the racial discrimination prevailing in their society. Several players have shared their own experience of facing discrimination, Darren Sammy was the first cricketer to do so.
Now, former South African cricketer Makhaya Ntini has opened up that he was brutally treated with his own teammates during his cricketing career.
Makhaya Ntini retired from all forms of international cricket in 2011 after representing South Africa in 101 Tests, 173 ODIs and 10 T20Is. The pacer has picked 390 Test wickets, 266 ODI wickets and 6 T20I wickets. He holds several match awards for his commendable performance. However, after being the mainstay for the team, Nitni was not treated equally like his white teammates.
Makhaya Ntini alone survived:
Ntini revealed that many of his teammates wouldn’t sit with him on the team bus and that no-one ever joined him for food. He even had to face the feeling of ‘isolation’ while he was a part of the South African national squad.
“I was forever lonely at the time. Nobody knocked on my door to go for dinner. Teammates used to make plans right in front of me, skipping me out. When walking into the breakfast room, nobody came to sit with me. We wear the same uniform and sing the same national anthem, but I had to overcome [the isolation],” said Ntini in an interview with SABC.
“I was running away from the loneliness. If I was sitting at the back of the bus, they would go and sit at the front. Whenever we won, it was joyful – but I was the first to be blamed whenever we lost… My son Thando has also experienced this, he was almost stopped from going on an U19 camp [on false pretences],” said Ntini, who bid adieu to international cricket in 2011.
Recently, Former South African captain Faf du Plessis has also raised his voice in support of the ongoing campaign.