Jason Holder believes anti-racism movement in cricket needs 'new initiative' - here's why

West Indies skipper Jason Holder believes cricket's anti-racism movement needs a refresh and some 'new initiative' to move forward.

Jason Holder in a file photo. (Image: Twitter/@ICC)
By Shayne Dias | Jun 10, 2021 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

West Indies skipper Jason Holder believes cricket’s anti-racism movement needs a refresh. The Windies were key proponents of taking the knee before games during last summer’s tour of England. The symbol, a sign of solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement, is now ‘watered down’, according to Holder.

“I had a few discussions about it and I feel as though some people feel it’s now a watered-down action taken before the games,” he said.

Holder further added that there needs to be ‘initiative’ and ‘substance’ behind the gestures. The Windies skipper doesn’t want things done just for the sake of it.

“I would like to see some new initiative to spark the movement again. I don’t want people to just think we’re taking the knee because Black Lives Matter, that’s the tradition and that’s the norm. It has to have some substance, it has to have some meaning behind it.”

“I would like to see some more emphasis, some more thought process going into actually re-sparking or re-engaging the movement so it can actually hold some substance,” he added.

The former West Indies captain urged athletes to do more for the anti-racism movement. What Holder wants can be achieved through greater awareness and action, he feels.

Holder indicated that more could be in store from their team this year. The aim for the team is to amplif the movement in question.

“Maybe, that’s something we can do as a group. Maybe, a video collage and a video message, just to reiterate what the movement stands for and what it’s all about,” he said.

South Africa to join Jason Holder and co.

In a departure from the past, South Africa will also join the movement as a group this time. However, they have allowed individual players to make own gestures.

“It’s been quite a journey for our side with regards to this topic,” Dean Elgar, South Africa’s new Test captain said.

“We had a meeting with West Indies cricket yesterday – myself, Kraigg Braithwaite and the two team managers.

“We have given the players their right to perform whichever act or gesture they want.

“If players are comfortable with taking a knee, they may. If a player wants to do the previous gesture that we had, of raising your right fist, they are entitled to do that.

“And if they aren’t comfortable just yet, they’ve got to stand to attention so we can respect the campaign,” Elgar added.

Anti-racism has again become a subject of discussion in the cricketing world following recent events in England. Ollie Robinson has been suspended for historic racist tweets.

What’s more, a few other players also under investigation for old posts.