Legendary West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding is not impressed with Australia and England cricket teams over their decisions to not take a knee during the ongoing limited-overs series. Holding argues that it’s important for sports stars to keep the awareness going around the Black Lives Matter movement at a time when racial injustice is growing across the world.
Michael Holding slammed Australia captain Aaron Finch for making a ‘lame’ and ‘flimsy’ excuse as to why the Men in Yellow wouldn’t take a knee during the limited-overs series in England. Having lost the T20I series 1-2, Australia will take on England in a 3-match ODI series in Manchester from Friday.
England and West Indies took a knee during the historic 3-match Test series in July to pledge their support to the Black Lives Matter movement. However, since West Indies returned home, the gesture has gone too with the likes of England, Pakistan and Australia not taking a knee during their series in the Old Blighty.
Even the Black Lives Matter logo that was part of the West Indies-England series has disappeared from England cricket team’s shirts.
Aaron Finch had said ‘education is more important than the protest’ when explaining Australia’s decision to not take a knee in England. The skipper had said he is proud about cricket being a ‘game for everyone’.
Speaking in a video for his YouTube channel, Michael Holding said: “”Education is important but you can’t just do nothing else. You have to keep the awareness going.
“Someone sees a person kneeling and they ask why. It keeps it going and going. The England football team have continued to do it. All over the world people are doing it. So why have the cricket team stopped? I can’t accept any flimsy excuse. “I think people need to keep on recognising that things need to change. You can’t just do something for a week or two and think: ‘OK, I’ve done my bit.’ If that’s your attitude don’t bother doing it at all.”
Holding, who had made heads turns with an emotional documentary on the Black Lives Matter campaign during the series against West Indies, said it’s better to not come up with ‘lame excuses’ if Australia and England no longer want to ‘recognise the movement’.
“I don’t care about the politics behind Black Lives Matter. I care about those three words: black lives matter. It is time for the world to accept that black lives matter and move towards that agreement and realisation,” Holding said.
“When Pakistan and England did not make that signal the ECB came out with a lame statement. I heard nothing from Pakistan. Now Australia have come here and issued a lame statement from the captain.
“He said he and the England captain have spoken. They have decided not to take a knee. All he is saying is he is glad he is part of a sport where nobody is barred from playing because of your race, gender, ethnicity and religion. If you don’t want to recognise the movement then say that and don’t come up with lame excuses. I know that the excuses and reasons are a bit flimsy. They need to come forward with something better than that.
“What Aaron Finch’s comments said to me is that as long as sport is multi-racial then everything is OK. So if the apartheid regime in South Africa had allowed multi-racial sport but kept the apartheid laws then everything would have been OK? No it wouldn’t have.”