James Anderson says England may join West Indies in anti-racism protest

By Stephan Shemilt, BBC,

England will consider joining West Indies if the tourists make an anti-racism gesture during the forthcoming Test series, says James Anderson.

Windies captain Jason Holder said on Wednesday he will discuss with his team if they will add to the protests seen since the death of George Floyd.

“It’s been a very thought-provoking few weeks for everyone. It’s made me do a lot of thinking,” said Anderson.

“We will have conversations about what we can do as players to make a stand.”

Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed black man, died after his neck was kneeled on by a police officer for nearly nine minutes while he was being restrained.

Former West Indies captain Daren Sammy said Floyd’s death was a symbol of “people in power suffocating people of lesser means”.

Amid demonstrations around the world, some sports stars have chosen to take a knee.

West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite, who will be part of the BBC commentary team for the three-Test series beginning on 8 July, took part in a protest in London.

Earlier this week, ex-England batsman and Anderson’s former team-mate Michael Carberry said cricket is “rife with racism”.

Anderson, England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker, believes all players can play a part in tackling the issue.

“As players and a game, we need to be more active,” he said. “We need to actively make this a game for everyone.

“It can’t keep going the way it is. It’s just not OK. That is the sort of thing I’ve been thinking about. Is there more I can do as a player to help the situation?”

Sammy, meanwhile, has called on cricket’s governing body to do more to support nations outside the ‘big three’ of England, Australia and India,

Speaking to BBC Asian Network’s Ankur Desai, he said: “What is the International Cricket Council doing to help the lesser boards?

“West Indies are in England to tour right now during coronavirus. If it was in the Caribbean right now and England had to tour, would it be the same thing? How many players would turn up?”

Photo: James Anderson has taken 82 wickets in 20 Tests against West Indies

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