Jason Holder: Taking the knee 'meant the world to me'

England and West Indies take a knee ahead of Test (0:40)

Players from both squads took a knee in support of Black Lives Matter before the first Test in Southampton. (0:40)

Jason Holder, West Indies’ captain, says that the unified display from West Indies’ and England’s players before the start of the first Test “meant the world” to him, as he thanked Michael Holding for his powerful exposition of the Black Lives Matter movement on the opening day of the match.

Speaking to Sky Sports after claiming six wickets in England’s first innings at the Ageas Bowl, Holder described his emotions after the players, officials and support staff of both teams took in a knee for 30 seconds in solidarity with BLM before the first ball of the match was bowled.

Holder, along with his team-mates, wore a black glove on the right hand in an apparent echo of the Black Power protest from Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the Mexico Olympics in 1968, after Holding, in a live segment during the morning rain delay that has now been viewed more than 5 million times on Twitter, declared that racism would not stop until we “educate the entire human race”.

“It meant the world to me,” Holder told Sky Sports, “just the support from everyone, everyone understanding the moment, everyone understanding the occasion. And to see both teams coming together the way they did, it sent a really strong message.

“I happened to be on social media last night, and I saw a few Aussies posting the same pic of everyone on the knee, and it just shows the cricket world is actually unified. But I think we could come a lot closer, we could do a lot more for cricket in general.”

With Holding listening in on the live interview, Holder added: “I must say, I saw the interview with Mikey yesterday, and I felt in my veins, to be honest. To me it was powerful, I think he hit the nail on the head, he was spot on.

“For me it’s more of an education. Guys need to make themselves aware of what’s in front of us. There’s a bigger picture sometimes in sport, but in the grand scheme of things, I just think we just need to be aware, we need to educate ourselves, and we need to have a level playing field for everyone.

“Hopefully the message that you sent out yesterday can be viewed by all, and people just really need to understand and divulge it for what it was. And hopefully we can all get the systemic quality that we’re looking for.”

Responding to Holder’s tribute, Holding, 66, added: “I don’t think you need to thank me, Jason. I think you guys need to just take the baton and keep on running with it.

“My days are almost gone. They say the Lord gives you three score years and 10. I’m only four years away. You guys have a lot of years ahead of you, and not just in the sport. It’s about life, it’s about teaching people around you, because when you’re finished playing sport, you have to go back into society, you have to go home.

“That’s what it’s all about, outside of the cricketing arena, outside of the sporting arena, that’s where we need equality.”

Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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