LONDON, United Kingdom, Jun 29 – The West Indies cricket team will wear “Black Lives Matter” logos on their shirts during next month’s Test series against England in a show of solidarity with the global movement.
The tourists will follow the lead of English Premier League footballers during the three-Test series, which starts at the Ageas Bowl on July 8.
The move comes after the death of African-American George Floyd in US police custody last month.
The logo, which has a clenched fist in place of the letter ‘A’ in the word “Black”, was designed by Watford player Troy Deeney’s partner Alisha Hosannah.
West Indies captain Jason Holder said the team remained focused on winning the series but that there were bigger issues to address.
“This is a pivotal moment in history for sports, for the game of cricket and for the West Indies cricket team,” he said in a statement issued by Cricket West Indies.
“We have come to England to retain the Wisden Trophy but we are very conscious of happenings around the world and the fight for justice and equality.
“We believe we have a duty to show solidarity and also to help raise awareness.”
Holder said sportsmen and women could influence opinion and be a force for change.
“We did not take our decision lightly,” he said.
“We know what it is for people to make judgements because of the colour of our skin, so we know what it feels like, this goes beyond the boundary.
“There must be equality and there must be unity. Until we get that as people, we cannot stop.”
Deeney said he and Hosannah were overwhelmed by the gesture.
“Alisha and I are immensely proud to be asked and take part in a monumental moment in world sport, this amazing decision by the West Indies cricket team to show their support for Black Lives Matter,” he said.
Player power was behind the Premier League’s move to put “Black Lives Matter” on the back of shirts for the first 12 games following the restart of the competition.
Footballers are also wearing the logo on their sleeves for the rest of the campaign.
West Indies head coach Phil Simmons is in self-isolation after leaving his team’s bio-secure location in Manchester for a short period of compassionate leave.
Cricket West Indies confirmed that Simmons had twice tested negative for the virus since returning on Friday, and would have another test on Wednesday before rejoining the squad.
The West Indies start a four-day warm-up match against England at Old Trafford on Monday.
Simmons attended the funeral of his father-in-law, who had died prior to the team’s recent assembly in Manchester, having been given permission by medical officials.