File image of West Indies captain Jason Holder (AFP Photo)
LONDON: West Indies captain Jason Holder has said his side will consider whether to take the knee during next month’s Test series against England in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Holder’s squad arrived in Manchester on Tuesday as anti-racism demonstrations, sparked by the police killing of George Floyd in the United States, continued worldwide.
Kneeling has become a symbolic way for sportsmen to show support for the broader Black Lives Matter campaign.
Whether the West Indies follow suit in next month’s three-match series remains to be seen.
But Holder was conscious of the “positive energy” such a move might generate.
“What has happened recently has impacted the world and the response from people around the world has been tremendous,” he 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.”
The fast bowler 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.”
While wary of directly saying the gesture would inspire his side, Holder added: “Who knows? This could be something serious we could build on and we could get some real positive energy through the group.”
Former West Indies captain Daren Sammy said this week he had been addressed using a potentially offensive nickname while playing in the Indian Premier League.
Holder, although reluctant to discuss his predecessor’s case in detail, did not shy away from the wider issue.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Meanwhile, former England batsman Michael Carberry said racism had cost him a place at one of his four county clubs.
Carberry, who represented Surrey, Kent, Hampshire and Leicestershire, as well as playing six Tests for England, told the Cricket Badger podcast: “I’ve almost come close to making a coach spit 32 (teeth) out on the ground for stuff that he said to me.
“‘I couldn’t see you in the dark’ and ‘What are the brothers having tonight? Bit of fried chicken and rice and peas tonight?'”
Carberry, 39, who didn’t name either the coach or the club concerned, added: “I had to drag him out on the balcony and say: ‘Listen, let me ask you something mate. How much time have you spent in Black company? And he literally wet his pants. He literally hung his head like a little child.
“Bear in mind, I’m putting my career (on the line), and it probably ended up being the final nail in my coffin in that club.”