Phil Simmons has revealed he was the victim of racist abuse while playing league cricket in England and confirmed his West Indies squad will "definitely" register their "solidarity" with the Black Lives Matter movement when the Test series against England begins.
As well as playing county cricket - he was a key member of the Leicestershire side which won the County Championship in 1996 - Simmons played in various leagues in England in the 80s and 90s. And while the West Indies head coach said he had not "really encountered that much" racism in the county game during his stints at Durham or Leicestershire, he did confirm he "encountered quite a bit" in one of the leagues.
He declined to confirm in which league the abuse occurred, only saying it was "in the north east."
"I encountered quite a bit [of racism] up in the leagues," Simmons said. "In county cricket I haven't really encountered that much. But I have encountered it in the leagues.
"It's not a nice thing to face. Especially in the leagues where you're by yourself sometimes. It affected my wife when I was up there. It's not a nice thing.
"I played in three or four different leagues. It was one particular league up in the north east."
The return of sport around the globe - not least the Premier League - has been characterised by gestures of support towards the Black Lives Matter movement. While Simmons was unsure exactly what guise his team's support would take, he was adamant they would "show their unity" and hinted their action would be in conjunction with the England side.
"We definitely are thinking about things that we can do to show our solidarity with the movement," Simmons said. "We definitely have plans to show our unity and our backing to it. The chats with the English are on-going and by the end of this week we'll see what we can do together."(ESPNCRICINFO)