England veteran fast bowler James Anderson said the last few weeks had been ‘thought-provoking’ and confirmed the England squad would discuss whether they wanted to show solidarity with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement during next month’s Test series against West Indies. Anderson also addressed the racial abuse incident his teammate Jofra Archer faced during England’s tour of New Zealand last year. Also Read - LIVE England vs West Indies 1st Test, Day 3, Southampton: Anderson Removes Brooks as England Fight Back
With killing of African-American George Floyd by a white policeman in the United States, the sporting fraternity has joined the worldwide campaign against racial discrimination. The 37-year-old also pondered whether he has been guilty of turning a ‘blind eye’ to racist taunts faced by players of colour. Also Read - Michael Holding Breaks Down While Recalling How His Mother's Family Stopped Talking to Her Because Her Husband Was 'Too Dark'
“It’s something as players and a game we need to be more active,” he told Cricbuzz, referring to a “thought provoking” past few weeks. Also Read - 'All Lives Matter' - Former South Africa Batsman Boeta Dippenaar Slams Lungi Ngidi Over Black Lives Matter Stance
“It’s made me think, have I experienced racism on a cricket field? I couldn’t remember any instances. I wasn’t in New Zealand when Jofra (Archer) was racially abused.
Anderson, who wasn’t a part of the New Zealand tour, said that he introspected after Archer revealed facing taunts from spectators during the tour.
“It made me think have I turned a blind eye to things? I’d try to support my team-mates if they did suffer any sort of abuse but have I been active in supporting them?” the great swing bowler of contemporary times said.
Just like former West Indies captain Darren Sammy, who poured his heart out on social media about casual racism that he faced during IPL, Anderson also feels that time is ripe for a conversation in the change rooms.
“It’s been a thought-provoking few weeks for everyone and we will have conversations as players as to what we can do to make us stand differently.”
Anderson urged custodians of English cricket to make the game more friendly which he feels is not the case right now.
“We need to actively make this game for everyone. It can’t keep going the way it is. That’s the sort of thing I have been thinking about really,” he added.