West Indies pacer Shannon Gabriel described players taking a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before the first Test between England and West Indies as a ‘great moment’.
Both teams’ players took the knee before the first ball was bowled while wearing Black Lives Matter logos on their shirts.
“It was a great moment, showing something we stand for and that racism has no part in cricket,” West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who took the only wicket to fall on the first day, told the BBC.
“We felt like we wanted to do something different, we felt if we wanted to make a bigger statement we should wear the black glove and it worked as people are talking about it,” West Indies assistant coach Roddy Estwick told reporters.
“That was our way of showing our support to the Black Lives Matter campaign.”
England batting coach Graham Thorpe said: “It’s important to show solidarity with the West Indies. The bottom line is we feel there is no room for racism in the sport.”
Earlier Windies Skipper Jason Holder indicated in his first question and answer session of the visit that West Indies would hope to help the development somehow or another, and said in an announcement on Sunday: “We believe we have a duty to show solidarity and also to help raise awareness.”
The logo utilized will be that ragged on the shirts of every one of the 20 Premier League football clubs since the game’s restart recently, structured by Alisha Hosannah, whose accomplice Troy Deeney is Watford’s commander. Deeney was reached by CWI for endorsement, and the ICC gave consent for the token to be worn on the groups’ collars.
“This is a pivotal moment in history for sports, for the game of cricket and for the West Indies cricket team,” Holder said. “We have come to England to retain the Wisden Trophy but we are very conscious of happenings around the world and the fight for justice and equality.
England vs West Indies 1st Test:
England reached 35 for 1 after a rain-affected day’s play. Thorpe felt bad for Dom Sibley, who was bowled by Gabriel without offering a shot for a duck but was glad cricket returned after more than 100 days.
“It’s a massive thing,” said Thorpe. “We’ve come a long way, having the West Indies over here.”
Before the match started, an emotional Michael Holding delivered a powerful message against racism saying the black race has been dehumanised and its accomplishments wiped off from a history “written by people who do the harm.”