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Petersen received hate mail for public support of Ngidi on BLM

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Alviro Petersen, the former South Africa opener, said he has received hate mail over his stance on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in South Africa.

Petersen has publicly voiced his support for paceman Lungi Ngidi, who wanted his South Africa team-mates to take a stance on BLM. Ngidi came in for criticism from several white former South Africa players, including Rudi Steyn, Boeta Dippenaar and Pat Symcox, on his stance.

But Petersen was among those who stood by Ngidi, and was one of the 31 co-signatories of a letter from prominent players of colour in South Africa, in which they called on Cricket South Africa to confront racial divisions in the sport in the country.

However, Petersen has now revealed he has received hate mail for his public stance, in which he has been referred to as a “quota player”. He took to Twitter in remonstration.

“Since my public stance supporting Lungi Ngidi, #BLM, and speaking about the systemic racism within cricket, sport and society in South Africa – I have received many hate mail,” he said. “Some have labeled [sic] me a “quota player”, playing because of my skin colour & cc’d the likes of Boeta in..

“Let me set the record straight – I have scored more T20, limited overs, first-class and Test runs than Boeta. I have scored more T20, limited overs, first-class and Test hundreds than Boeta, despite him playing longer than me. Yet, I am referred to as a “quota player”.

“I have sharpened my argument in law and in human rights to fight against any forms of discrimination. You can victimize me, spread lies about me or even degrade me but I will continue to stand for equality for black and white people!”

In a long series of tweets, in which he targeted the media and the systems in place in South African cricket, Petersen took particular issue with the suggestion that he didn’t have to fight for his place.

“You know me, but you don’t know my story,” he said. “You know some things I have done, but you don’t know what I went through! I was never given a free ride in cricket, I EARNED MY SPOT THROUGH PERFORMANCES. I broke several records in 2008/09 and only made my debut in 2010 …”

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