Windies have a duty to show solidarity

MANCHESTER, England (CMC): Captain Jason Holder has underscored the importance of West Indies’ role in the global fight for racial justice after Cricket West Indies announced yesterday that players would wear the Black Lives Matter logo on their shirts during the three-Test series against England starting next week.

The series, which runs from July 9-28, is being played amid global racial tensions triggered by the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd in the United States last month.

“This is a pivotal moment in history for sports, for the game of cricket and for the West Indies cricket team,” Holder said.

“We have come to England to retain the Wisden Trophy but we are very conscious of happenings around the world and the fight for justice and equality. We believe we have a duty to show solidarity and also to help raise awareness.”

“As a group of young men, we know of the rich and diverse history of West Indies cricket and we know we are guardians of the great game for generations to come. We did not take our decision lightly.

“We know what it is for people to make judgments because of the color of our skin, so we know what it feels like, this goes beyond the boundary.”

EQUALITY MESSAGE

He added: “There must be equality and there must be unity. Until we get that as people, we cannot stop. We have to find some way to have equal rights and people must not be viewed differently because of the color of their skin or ethnic background.”

The Black Lives Matter logo, which features a clenched fist representing the letter ‘A’ in the word ‘Black’, will be brandished on the left side of the shirt collar.

Alisha Hosannah, the partner of English Premiership star Troy Deeney, designed the logo.

Deeney said their involvement in the initiative was important since it was critical sports stars used their public profiles to highlight the need for change.

“When I got the call, I didn’t hesitate to respond, because I know as sportspersons in the spotlight, how important our efforts are to bring about change and the role we play in the move towards change in our society,” said Deeney, the Watford captain.

“Watching cricket with my grandad, and seeing Brian Lara transcend from being a cricketer to a worldwide superstar, shaped my childhood, so it’s great to be able to help West Indies Cricket show their support in such a meaningful way.”

West Indies face England in the first Test at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton before clashing again with the hosts in the second and third Tests at Old Trafford here.

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