Holder gives NZC thumbs up on racism fight


Holder gives NZC thumbs up on racism fight

Thursday, December 03, 2020

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HAMILTON, New Zealand (CMC) — West Indies Test Captain Jason Holder has praised New Zealand Cricket (NZC) for its positive stance on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and has urged continued global education in order to more efficiently tackle racism in sport.

The 29-year-old, who will lead West Indies in a two-Test series against the Black Caps starting here Thursday (6:00 pm Wednesday, Eastern Caribbean time), said based on recent discussions with opposing Captain Kane Williamson, he felt assured the issue of racism was being seriously addressed by authorities here.

“Kane came openly to me and we sat down and spoke about it. We had a really good chat this morning [yesterday] around it and it was just mainly him hearing our side of it,” Holder told reporters prior to the Seddon Park contest.

“And, I was just really happy with the support Kane has shown for our push behind the Black Lives movement.

“Obviously New Zealand has started a campaign around racism as well, too, which is really good and I think, generally, the awareness just needs to keep building.

“I think it is more of an awareness and I stressed that to Kane. Us as individuals when we go around the world we mingle with so many people and you never understand what some people go through.”

He added: “I think the more education we put around it, the better off this world will be and the more awareness we show, then people would become a lot more aware.

“So it's really good that Cricket New Zealand has obviously put their support behind it, so let's just hope that we can continue to spread the word.”

West Indies found themselves at the centre of the discussion surrounding racism in the sport when their three-Test tour of England last July coincided with global protests over the killing of unarmed African American George Floyd, by a white police officer in Minneapolis, United States.

The incident, which occurred in May, brought the Black Lives Matter movement to the fore, globally, and sparked demonstrations in almost every major city, including London.

Players from both West Indies and England wore the BLM insignia on their jerseys and knelt before the start of each Test, as a show of support for the movement.

Holder, who recently expressed concern that the conversation over racism in cricket was beginning to wane, pointed to the England tour as a watershed moment and said Cricket West Indies would continue to play its part in the global movement.

“What I would say is that a lot more people are aware of some of the issues other races have faced. I think that's a start and a step in the right direction, and I think more that needs to continue to build,” stressed Holder, the top-ranked all-rounder in Tests.

“The more we become aware of what is in front of us as people, we would understand what certain people go through. And that's just the main aim of the game in terms of Cricket West Indies' perspective, just to continue to raise that awareness for other people to understand what certain people are going through.”

He continued: “Interestingly enough when we were in England and we sat down as a team and discussed it as a team, and some of the guys shared their personal experiences and it was touching.

“It was touching to hear some of them openly share, and one of the things that I have found is that certain people are so battered and bruised by it, they are scared to share.

“If we throw a little more awareness behind it and support, then people would be open to sharing a little bit more.”

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