West Indies captain Jason Holder says his team will discuss the possibility of taking a knee during the next month’s Test series against England as a symbolic gesture for their support to the Black Lives Matter campaign. Also Read - Delhi Sportsmen Aren't Getting What They Deserve From Government Unlike Other States: Boxer Gaurav Bidhuri
USA erupted late last month after footage of an African-American George Floyd being kneed to death by a police officer emerged. The incident let to widespread protests across the country against police brutality which eventually spilled over to other countries across the globe. Also Read - Scotland to Reopen Castles, Palaces as Covid-19 Lockdown Eases
Sportspersons across disciplines are showing their support to the campaign against racism with several high-profile football teams pictured taking a knee during their training sessions. Also Read - IIT-Kanpur Students Develop UV Sanitising Product That Can Disinfect Room in 15 Minutes
“What has happened recently has impacted the world and the response from people around the world has been tremendous,” Holder said on Wednesday. “You must acknowledge it and protesting or standing up for what you believe is seen as noble and courageous and something I myself would never sit and disapprove of.”
He added, “It (taking a knee) will definitely — probably — be discussed amongst us and we’ll decide how we’ll go forward as a team with it. I just want to make sure whatever we do, if we do anything, that it is done the right way.”
West Indies have landed in England for their three-match Test series which will mark the return of international cricket after it has halted due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The matches will be played in Hampshire and Manchester in bio-secure environment.
Holder said the gesture of taking a knee could result in positive energy. “Who knows? This could be something serious we could build on and we could get some real positive energy through the group,” he said.
The issue of racism has taken the centrestage in cricket with former West Indies captain Daren Sammy accusing his IPL teammates of referring him using a potentially derogatory term during his time with the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“I haven’t had any personal experience of racial abuse in cricket…But I would be foolish to sit here and say that racism is not prevalent,” Holder said of Sammy’s claim. “It is a crime throughout the entire world and something that will probably be an ongoing discussion way past our lifetimes.”
“For me the greatest thing at the end of the day is unity, I just want equality to excel, so we can have less fighting, less killing, less adversity in society,” he added.
West Indies cricketers Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo has also come out in support of the Black Lives campaign.