Almost 12 months after opting against taking a knee against England, Australia’s men’s team have taken a stand against racial discrimination ahead of their opening T20I against the West Indies.
Only last month, former West Indian star Michael Holding criticised Australia’s stance, along with England, of not taking a knee.
“I’m not going to talk about political movements,” he said.
“I care about the three words — Black Lives Matter.
“What this England (cricket) team is doing, this ‘moment of unity’, is not supporting Black Lives Matter. Don’t tell me that’s supporting Black Lives Matter.”
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In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Holding said by not taking a knee, Australia was not supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
“If you support Black Lives Matter, I don’t see how it can be an issue to take the knee,” Holding told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age from the UK, where he was commentating for Sky Sports.
“I would hope everybody does it but as I said, I am not a Black Lives Matter policeman.
“People who must decide whether they support the movement, support the issue, or not.
“The world-recognised gesture of support for Black Lives Matter is taking a knee. Everybody accepts that and knows that as the world-recognised gesture.”
Speaking ahead of Australia’s tour of the West Indies, Holding said he did not want to see the nation take a knee because they were playing a coloured team but because they supported the movement.
“We’ll see if it’s just words. Maybe they’ll do it because they’re playing a black team . Who knows?” Holding said.
“I don’t want them to do it because they’re playing in the West Indies. I would expect if you’re supporting a cause, you support the cause any and everywhere, not because it’s politically correct or when it suits you.”
Ahead of the tour, captain Aaron Finch said the team would reconsider their position on whether to take a knee.
Before the first ball in St Lucia, the two squads took a knee.
In a statement, Cricket Australia said they stood with the West Indies in “condemning racial injustice and discrimination” and added they would continue to do what they could to education its citizens.
“The Australian men’s cricket team stands with the West Indies cricket team in condemning racial injustice and discrimination, both at home in Australia, and throughout the world,” a CA statement read.
“As a team we’ll continue to educate ourselves, provide support where possible, and create awareness for those who are victims of racial injustice, and/or discrimination in any form.
“We kneel alongside our West Indians friends to recognise and show our support of all those who have been victims of racial injustice and/or discrimination, past and present.”
Both teams were applauded for showing their support.
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