Michael Holding: England footballers showing some backbone by taking the knee

Michael Holding has praised England’s footballers for continuing to take a knee, believing they are doing more than their cricket compatriots in the fight against racism.

The former West Indies pace bowler called for an end to institutional racism last year after describing the problems he had encountered in Australia and England during his playing career.

He continued the crusade on Friday, telling Sky Sports: “The footballers, Gareth Southgate and the England team, I applaud them for what they’re doing.

“They are getting a lot of stick for taking the knee, they’re getting booed, but they are showing some backbone.

“They’re saying ‘we’re doing it because we know what we’re doing – not for a political movement, we’re doing it for humanitarian reasons.'”

England and New Zealand’s cricketers shared a ‘moment of unity’ before the start of play in the second Test at Edgbaston, but Holding was unimpressed with the gesture.

The 67-year-old continued: “I’m not going to talk about political movements. I care about the three words. Black Lives Matter.

“What this England (cricket) team is doing, this moment of unity, is not supporting Black Lives Matter. Don’t tell me that’s supporting Black Lives Matter.”

England v New Zealand – Second LV= Insurance Test – Day One – Edgbaston
Holding was unimpressed with cricket’s ‘moment of unity’ (Mike Egerton/PA)

Holding, who has written a book ‘Why We Kneel, How We Rise’ claims he is seeing signs of progress, albeit slow.

He added: “Progress is definitely being made but I’d love to have seen a lot more (being done) in this country.

“I want this country to take a firm grip on the situation but people are accepting things are wrong and we can move forward.

“But I’m very disappointed with people saying Black Lives Matter is Marxist, they wouldn’t even know what Marxism is or what it stood for – but they tell you that because they are trying to pull down Black Lives Matter.

“It’s slow but I don’t expect huge strides. I want to keep moving in the right direction and I definitely see movement.”