WI vs Aus 1st T20: Australian players take a knee in support of BLM movement

Written by Rohit Pawar

It was unclear whether the Aaron Finch-led Australia would become the country’s first senior national cricket team to take a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement but the team took everyone by surprise when they took a knee before the start of their series opening T20I against West Indies in St Lucia on Saturday.

Players from both teams performed the gesture, as did support staff who had assembled in front of the team dugout, alongside both on-field umpires.

An Australian team statement said they stood with the Windies “in condemning racial injustice and discrimination”.

“As a team we’ll continue to educate ourselves, provide support where possible, and create awareness for those who are victims of racial injustice, and/or discrimination in any form,” the statement read.

“We kneel alongside our West Indian friends to recognise and show our support of all those who have been victims of racial injustice and/or discrimination, past and present.”

It is not known whether Australia will continue to kneel for the remainder of the series.

Australia skipper Aaron Finch had raised the issue of kneeling with Pollard on Thursday at the pre-series captain’s photoshoot at the hotel.

Pollard later told reporters he did not want opposition teams to take a knee just “because the West Indies are doing it”.

“For me it’s very important, but it’s one where I just don’t want (teams) to just say that ‘we are doing this because we are supporting you guys in this’,” the veteran all-rounder said.

“You need to be educated about it and you need to understand what you’re doing. It’s not a matter of us just doing it and you supporting us and we’re looking for that sympathy.

“It’s one (issue) that’s very dear to our hearts. There’s a lot of social injustice going around the world when it comes to black people and it’s something that we want to continue to educate, not just ourselves, but the entire world to see if we can get on that level playing field,” added Pollard.

The West Indies’ playing shirts have a ‘Black Lives Matter’ logo printed on the right sleeve, which has a clenched fist in the place of the letter ‘A’.

The movement gained momentum in the aftermath of the death of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of a white policeman in Minneapolis last year.

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Rohit Pawar

An Independent I.T. Security Expert, Geek, Blogger & Passionate Programmer.