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30 May 2021
West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder has said that the anti-racism movement in cricket needs some new initiative apart from gestures teams do before the start of any game. He said that people have developed a feeling that those gestures are just a 'watered-down' action and hence the fight against racism should be fought with 'new initiative.'
“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. I would like to see some new initiative to spark the movement again,” Holder was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.com.
Holder emphasized that taking a knee can’t just be a tradition or a norm alone and instead, should hold some meaning. “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.”
“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.
On the other hand, the touring South Africa side had earlier said that it would be up to the players to take a knee before the match against West Indies at St Lucia and their leader Dean Elgar has confirmed the move by the Proteas.
“We've given the players their right to perform whichever act or gesture they want to perform. So if players are comfortable with taking the knee, they may. If a player wants to use the previous gesture we had - raising the right fist - they're also entitled to do that. And if players aren't comfortable just yet they've got to stand to attention so we can still respect the campaign that's rolling out,” he said.
The first Test between South Africa and West Indies is scheduled to start today at Gros Islet, St. Lucia.