June 1, 2021, 3:30 p.m.
GROS ISLET, Saint Lucia – Phil Simmons, Head Coach of the West Indies Men’s team, has reaffirmed his team’s firm support for the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight for justice and equality around the world ahead of the West Indies vs South Africa Series and following last Thursday’s announcement that the Men’s team’s show of solidarity during last year’s Sandals tour of England has formed part of a major broadcast award. Sky Sports, the host broadcaster for the Wisden Trophy series last year, was presented with the accolade for “Best Sports Programme” at the Broadcast Awards in the United Kingdom.
The moment in time was at the start of the first Test when the West Indies players took a knee and raised clenched fists. This came after the death of George Floyd in the United States which caused global outrage and protest, including leading players in the NBA, NFL, English Premier League and across other major sporting events. This happened while the world was battling the COVID-19 pandemic and West Indies became the first team to embark on an international tour, training and playing in a bio-secure bubble, organized by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
“What we saw during the tour of England was an historic moment and powerful message —a moment in sporting history that will be remembered for years to come. But more than that, it carried a message that reverberated around the world – that there is no place for racism and that as a West Indies team we will show our support for the cause as we strive for equality and justice for everyone everywhere to have a ‘level playing field’ on and off the field.”
Legendary West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding’s stirring and heartfelt contribution to the broadcast team was acknowledged in March when he won the UK Sports Journalist Association’s Pundit of the Year Award. Within a special feature, Holding’s powerful message highlighted the personal impact of racial discrimination and injustice, together with its wider impact on black communities. https://www.windiescricket.com/news/michael-holding-wins-sports-journalists-association-sja-award-best-pundit-2020/
West Indies will continue to sear the Black Lives Matter logo on their shirts throughout the three back to back Series against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan from June to August. The Black Lives Matter emblem was designed by Alisha Hosannah, the partner of Troy Deeney, professional footballer and captain of Watford Football Club. He was contacted by CWI and permission was granted for the logo to be displayed on the collar according to ICC regulations. The logo has a clenched fist in place of the letter “A” in the word “Black”.