The West Indies captain, Jason Holder, believes that his team has a lot to be thankful for with being able to play professional cricket and getting paid to do so while the ongoing coronavirus pandemic wreaks financial havoc. The West Indies Cricket team is in England, already preparing for the first test that is scheduled to begin on the 8th of July in Southampton, with the last two matches at Old Trafford in Manchester.
The West Indies arrived in the United Kingdom on Tuesday with the narrative in the build-up to the series shifting from the coronavirus pandemic to the Black Lives Matter global protests. The West Indies captain Jason Holder says his team will go about any show of solidarity towards the Black Lives Matter movement during the upcoming three-test series against England in the “right way”. The 28-year-old from Barbados revealed that even though he himself had never experienced racial abuse in cricket, he is pleased with the manner the International Cricket Council has dealt with incidents of racism.
“I think ICC (International Cricket Council) has done an outstanding job so far in dealing with matters of racism. It is a cry throughout the entire world and you know something that will probably be an ongoing discussion from probably way past our lifetimes. I think the greater message that could be brought from this entire experience is, you know, unity. I think regardless of your race, your kind, your religion, I just think it’s a situation for us all to unite as one,” says Holder.
Holder is urging society to use these trying times to unite. He cherishes the chance to play cricket amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The mere fact that we are getting the opportunity to play cricket, you know I think we should cherish it. Many organisations around the world are taking pay cuts, cricketing organisations as well and we’ve suddenly got an opportunity now to continue to make money. So, a lot of things to be thankful for and I think in the context of the situation now, we’ve just got to be thankful and make sure that we relish the opportunity and grab it with both hands,” says Holder.
On the other hand, the International Olympic Committee says athletes will discuss and decide on how best to support the core Olympic values in a dignified way as calls to change rules restricting protests at Games grow louder.
Several major sports have moved to allow protests following George Floyd’s death in United States (US) police custody on May 25, including world football’s governing body FIFA and the National Football League in the US.
Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter, however, bans any of form political protest during the Games. The president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, says the Olympic spirit must always be respected.
“We have fully supported the initiative of the IOC athletes commission to have dialogue with their counterpart athletes from around the world to explore different ways on how Olympic athletes can express their support for the principles enshrined in the Olympic charter in a dignified way. We also agree, at the same time, with the athletes commission, that we must always respect the Olympic spirit, and this means that we must make a difference between such support for the principles enshrined in the Olympic charter, and potentially divisive demonstrations,” says Bach.
Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy wants to see greater racial diversity in golf and hopes the recent protests across the world against police brutality towards black people will lead to lasting change in society.
The world number one from Northern Ireland revealed that he idolized Tiger Woods when he was growing up and hoped to see more people like the mixed raced, 15-times major champion playing professional golf.
“Tiger doesn’t look the same as me, has had a very different upbringing to the one that I have had, but he was my hero growing up. It didn’t matter what color his skin was, what his beliefs were. Tiger was my hero, and he’s been a lot of kids’ heroes over the years. We’ve been very lucky to have him in our game. I think that there should be more people like him in golf.”
The PGA Tour plans to honour Floyd with a moment of silence each morning during the tournament.