West Indies men’s cricket team coach Phil Simmons has contradicted what captain Jason Holder had informed and said that the team had not yet decided if they would take a knee during their three-match Test series against England starting on July 8.
“We’ve spoken about it a bit. It means a hell of a lot to all the players and all the staff on the tour. But it’s not just about now, it’s about life on the whole, and I think we as a group don’t need to say this is going to motivate us. It motivates us all the time, it’s been a natural part of life,” Simmons said as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
Earlier, Holder had revealed that the Windies players were firmly behind the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement and would demonstrate their support during the first Test against England in the upcoming series.
“The West Indies team is firmly behind the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement,” Holder said when asked at the show Good Morning Britain about the ongoing worldwide protest against racism following the death of George Floyd in the United States.
“As a team we will show our solidarity to the movement. We had few discussions and come July 8th, we will show our support.
“I’ve been following it quite closely and I’ve seen many opinion on the matter and what should be done and what can be done. It’s a perfect opportunity to affect change. One of the things that stands out if unity. We need to unite and come together as one,” Holder had explained.
After a black civilian was killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States of America, massive anti-racism protests have taken place 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”.
To condemn the brutal action of the officer, protesters have made bending knees as a symbol of the current anti-racism movement.
The action has been prevalent in sports as well. NFL player Colin Kapernick had knelt during the national anthem, before one of the games in 2016. His action triggered a movement and black players across many teams had resorted to kneeling during the national anthem to protest against the police brutality and racism.
Recently the NFL and the US Soccer Federation said that they would not take action against players bending their knee during the anthem. Most of the European football competitions have 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.