Australia’s head coach Justin Langer admitted his team didn’t give ‘Black Lives Matter’ and whether to take a knee in support of the global campaign enough thought leading into the ongoing limited-overs series in the UK.
Ahead of the first T20I nearly two weeks back, skipper Aaron Finch when asked whether his team will be making the gesture for which West Indies and England teams were lauded in the early part of the summer, said the visitors have conveyed to the hosts that they won’t be doing so and believe education on anti-racism values is more important than protests.
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The comment from Finch attracted heavy criticism from former West Indies quick Michael Holding, who bravely called out the prejudice and discrimination that the people of colour continue to face in our world at the start of the season.
Langer rued lack of enough conversations on the matter within the Australian dressing room, adding that in in no way do they not support the cause for a more equal world.
“In terms of taking a knee, to be completely honest, we could have talked more about it perhaps leading up to the first game,” Langer was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“There was so much going on leading up to us getting here, maybe we should have talked more about it. What we do talk about within the team, was that we want to have a response that is sustained and powerful, and that it can go not just in one action but a sustained period not just throughout this series and the summer but throughout time.”
The former Test opener also praised Holding, stating forward that his team shall definitely listen when people of such undoubted integrity speak their heart out for the larger good.
“Michael Holding is one of the great people of world sport, and certainly our game,” Langer said. “He’s a person who I personally have great admiration, great respect, great love for, and we all watched his presentation, his heartfelt thoughts at the start of the summer. When someone like Michael says something like that, it is certainly important we all listen to it.”
“It was a powerful statement by Mikey, as it has been consistently from him and from others throughout the summer, and because of that, it was a powerful message.”