Ahead of the Test series against England, West Indies men’s cricket team head coach Phil Simmons has said that the West Indies team have always been united and that the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement has not added anything to their determination.
“It doesn’t take the Black Lives situation to bring us together as a team. All the teams that have been with, we’ve been fairly united in the struggle that we have, to go out there and win Test matches,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Simmons as saying.
“It doesn’t matter what we’ve been against, we have to go out and win Test matches, and that’s what we’ve got into these guys here,” he added.
England and West Indies will play the three-match series in a bio-secure environment. The first Test is scheduled to be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton (July 8-12) with the second and third matches at Old Trafford in Manchester from July 16-20 and then July 24-28.
Meanwhile, both the West Indies and England team have already announced that they would wear the ‘Black Lives Matter’ logo on their jerseys to express solidarity and support the ongoing anti-racism movement across the globe.
The ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement has been a longstanding movement for the rights of black people but it gained traction after a black civilian was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States of America. The incident has triggered massive anti-racism protests in several parts of the world.
George Floyd, aged 46, was choked to death by officer Derek Chauvin. He held Floyd down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, “I can’t breathe,” and “please, I can’t breathe”.
Such has been the impact of the movement that sportspersons have also decided to join it and show their support. Various competitions such as the European football leagues and the NFL in the USA announced that players would not be sanctioned for expressing their solidarity on the field during live matches.
The Premier League has even seen the players of both the teams ‘taking a knee’ which has become a universal gesture for the protestors to condemn the brutality committed against Floyd and the black populace as a whole.