West Indies will continue to take a knee before their matches at the men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE in a stand against racism, their captain Kieron Pollard has said.
West Indies’ players and support staff have kneeled and raised fists before the start of games since the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, showing their support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“From my knowledge at this present time, I think it’s something we’re going to continue because it’s something that we strongly believe in, as a team,” Pollard said.
England, West Indies’ opponents in their opening fixture in Dubai on October 23, took a knee during series against West Indies and Ireland last year but were criticised by Michael Holding, the former fast bowler and broadcaster, for when they stopped doing so later in their home summer.
Before Australia’s men took a knee for the first time during their white-ball tour to the Caribbean earlier this year, Pollard said he did not want opposition teams to kneel “because the West Indies are doing it” and that it was “not a matter of us just doing it and you supporting us and we’re looking for that sympathy”.
“Everyone has their own opinions on racism and Black Lives Matter and all these things,” Pollard said, asked if he would encourage England to take a knee alongside West Indies. “So, I can’t tell them what to do or expect anything, because sometimes when you expect things from people, you tend to get disappointed.
“Again, sometimes, you just have to look at the man in the mirror, and if we think it is something that is very, very important to us, we will do it. And if the opposition thinks that as well, it’s up to them. If they don’t, [it’s a matter of] personal choices.”
The ICC has previously intervened and fined players when they have made gestures “for messages which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes” or displayed “personal messages on their clothing, equipment or otherwise,” but last year pledged to use “common sense” when players took a knee.
Chris Jordan, the fast bowler, said earlier on Tuesday that the England squad had not yet spoken about the possibility of taking at knee during their training camp in Oman.
“Nothing has been discussed, really” Jordan said. “We’ll discuss it and if people feel strongly about it, we’ll definitely do it. On the flip side, if we don’t, then we won’t. We’ll have to discuss that internally and then take it from there.”