Fast bowling great Michael Holding said he would “bruise his knee” to the grave if he was still an active player but doesn’t want anyone to take the gesture as “a tick-in-the-box exercise”.
Holding was speaking on Sky Sports’ ‘The Cricket Show’ on the first death anniversary of African-American George Floyd, who died at the hands of a white police office in the Minnesota last year.
“You will always have racism, always have racists. Getting rid of racism totally is like saying you are going to get rid of crime totally. It is impossible,” Holding said during a panel discussion that also had former England players Nasser Hussain and Ebony Rainford-Brent.
“The less crime you have in your society, the less racism you have in your society, the better off the world is as we go ahead,” he added.
Holding feels that the gesture of “taking a knee” should be organic rather a “tick the box” exercise but he doesn’t believe in telling people what their choices should be.
“I am not going to tell people they must take a knee - I am not here to tell people what they need to do. I don’t want people to take it as a tick-in-the-box exercise.
“You must want to support the cause, you must be willing to understand and see that something is wrong and this is the worldwide accepted way of showing support for the cause,” he said.
The West Indian great, who now lives in the United Kingdom, said not everyone can understand the challenges that black people endure through their lives.
Holding didn’t hide the raging anger he has felt at times while interacting with people who resort to casual racism which can be equally hurtful.
“As a black person, when you hear certain people say certain things it burns inside. I have had many occasions when people have said something or treated me a particular way when I think to myself ‘are they just rude or are they racist?’ Is it because I am black that they are treating me this way or is it because they don’t know any better because they are rude?,” he said.
Holding believes that UK hasn’t done enough to weed out racism.
“But, right now, I don’t think we have made enough ground, especially in the UK. I am going to be blunt now. I don’t see enough action in the UK.
“I see a lot of action in the US. Big corporations in the US putting up millions and millions of dollars toward programmes to levelling the playing field,” he said.
“Apart from Sky, who are we seeing in the UK doing anything? There is a little bit of lip service every now and again but what really positive signs of action have we seen?” he asked.
With PTI Inputs
Respond to this article with a post
Share your perspective on this article with a post on ScrollStack, and send it to your followers.