Former West Indian pacer Michael Holding expressed his displeasure at Aaron Finch's statement on not taking a knee for the limited-overs series in England, as he termed it a lame statement. Finch had opined that his team wouldn't take a knee as education is more important than protest.
Michael Holding is the last man to shy away from speaking his mind especially on important issues be it related to cricket or outside. The former West Indies pacer had delivered an epic speech while breaking down in tears during England-West Indies Test series discussing racism and its impact on the world. Now, he has come hard at the England and Australia players, who opted out from taking a knee to express solidarity with the 'Black Lives Matter' movement in the current series in England.
Holder admitted that the issue of racism might not be as prevalent everywhere as it is in the US but still there is a need to continue spreading the message of equality especially at the present time and it shouldn't stop just because the West Indies team aren't playing.
“Now that the West Indies team has gone home, that doesn’t mean that you still shouldn’t be respecting the message and what it stands for,” Holding told Sky Sports.
“Yes, (racism) is more acute in the United States than in most other places but people around the entire world took on the mantle of spreading the word and getting this message out that it is time for equality and time for equal justice.
“It was no longer just a black versus white thing... so for Pakistan and England not to then take that signal... neither team did it and the ECB came out with a pretty lame statement, as far as I am concerned.”
Before the ongoing limited-overs series between England and Australia begun, the visiting skipper Aaron Finch had stated that his team would not take the knee because “education is more important than the protest.” Holding ripped into Finch's statement and termed it a lame excuse while maintaining that he doesn't want to force anyone to do what they don't want to do.
“(Finch) is saying that he’s glad he is part of a sport where no one is barred from playing, irrespective of your race, your gender, your ethnicity, your religion,” Holding said.
“Well, I don’t know any sport where anyone is barred from playing because of anything at all. So that’s a pretty lame statement.
“I’m not here to try to force people to do what they do not want to do. If you think you do not need to sympathise with and recognise the movement, just say that. Don’t come up with lame excuses.”