Holding slams England Cricket Board for abandoning show of support for BLM

By Sports Desk September 11, 2020

Cricket commentator has taken the England Cricket Board to task for not continuing the practice of players taking the knee in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement (BLM) for their series against both Pakistan and now Australia.

During the West Indies tour of England in July, players took the knee in support of the global movement for equality for people of colour. However, that has since ended with subsequent tours triggering the ire of the former West Indies fast bowler.

"Now that the West Indies team has gone home, that doesn't mean that you still shouldn't be respecting the message and exactly what it stands for," Holding said.

He explained that the movement had generated global momentum and awareness. The ECB should do what it can to help maintain it.

"So for Pakistan and England not to then take that signal - because you are not doing anything other than going down on one knee - you are not chanting anything, you are not saying anything, all you are doing is making a signal to keep the awareness going.”

Meanwhile, the ECB responded to the SkySports commentator that while they respect his opinion, they have chosen to go in the direction of a more sustainable form of action.

"Many of cricket’s teams, both domestic and international, took the knee in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement for their opening games, with the Men's Test Team continuing throughout the entire series with the West Indies,” the ECB statement said.

"Our response to the Black Lives Matter debate has been to view the issue alongside the whole inclusion and diversity space, to ensure that long-term and sustainable change happens for all communities who are not treated equally. We remain committed to this philosophy.

"Our refreshed inclusion and diversity strategy, published at the start of the West Indies Series, commits to several comprehensive initiatives that focus on eliminating discrimination from all areas of cricket.

"England's men’s and women’s players all remain committed to using their reach and influence to keep promoting inclusion and diversity in perpetuity, for the betterment of cricket and sport. We understand the importance of symbolism, and its power to keep an issue high on the agenda, our goal is to ensure we deliver both reach and change.”

However, believes that change will require more than just education.

"It is not a matter of which one is more important. Education is very important - I said that when I had my talk on Sky - but you can't just say that education is the most important thing and do nothing else. We have still got to keep the awareness going.

“I don’t care about any politics behind the Black Lives Matter – I just care about those three words. Black Lives Matter. And it’s time for the world to accept that black lives matter and move the entire world towards that agreement and that realisation because it is obvious that we need to do something in this world if we are going to get equality for all races and all nations.”

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