Michael Holding claims English cricket lacks country’s footballers’ backbone on racism

Michael Holding has accused English cricket’s new anti-discrimination ‘moment of unity’ of diluting the Black Lives Matter message, and compared them unfavourably with England’s footballers.

On the day Lancashire became the latest team to become embroiled in the controversy over historic abusive tweets, the West Indian great praised Gareth Southgate’s side for continuing to take a knee, despite being booed, and for showing ‘backbone and intestinal fortitude’.

But he was critical of cricket’s approach, which this summer has consisted of the players wearing T-shirts branded with messages aimed at seven types of discrimination.

Michael Holding has accused English cricket of diluting the Black Lives Matter message

Michael Holding has accused English cricket of diluting the Black Lives Matter message

The West Indian great praised England's football side for continuing to take a knee

The West Indian great praised England's football side for continuing to take a knee

The West Indian great praised England’s football side for continuing to take a knee

‘What they are doing now about this moment of unity, that is not supporting Black Lives Matter,’ Holding told Sky Sports. ‘Because what you are doing there is, when I say Black Lives Matter, you are telling me all lives matter. 

‘Gareth Southgate and the England team, I applaud what they are doing. They’re getting a lot of stick for taking a knee, they are getting booed. But they are showing some backbone. 

‘They are showing some intestinal fortitude to say, OK, but we are still doing it because we know what we’re doing. We are not doing it for the political movement, we are doing it for humanitarian reasons.’

Holding, whose book on racism, Why We Kneel, How We Rise, is published later this month, said he had little time for critics of BLM.

But he was critical of cricket's approach, which has consisted of the players wearing T-shirts branded with messages aimed at seven types of discrimination

But he was critical of cricket's approach, which has consisted of the players wearing T-shirts branded with messages aimed at seven types of discrimination

But he was critical of cricket’s approach, which has consisted of the players wearing T-shirts branded with messages aimed at seven types of discrimination

‘When you hear people saying BLM is Marxist, some of those people don’t even know who Karl Marx is or what he stood for,’ he said. 

‘But they tell you that because they are trying to pull down the movement of Black Lives Matter. I have no idea who started the BLM political movement. I care about the three words: Black. Lives. Matter.’

Meanwhile, Lancashire have launched an investigation after the Lancashire Telegraph uncovered over 50 tweets said to contain ‘racist, homophobic, anti-disability or misogynistic content’ by Alex Davies, Liam Hurt, Luke Wells, Josh Bohannon and Richard Gleeson.

It came on the day Lancashire became the latest team to become embroiled in the controversy over historic abusive tweet

It came on the day Lancashire became the latest team to become embroiled in the controversy over historic abusive tweet

It came on the day Lancashire became the latest team to become embroiled in the controversy over historic abusive tweet

According to the newspaper, Davies, Hurt and Bohannan were all under 18 when they wrote their tweets, which date back to 2011 and have now been taken down.

‘Lancashire Cricket strongly condemns the use of any discriminatory language or behaviour by any member of the club’s players or staff at any point in time,’ said the county’s chief executive Daniel Gidney. ‘We abhor all forms of discrimination which, as a club, we find totally unacceptable.’

The ECB, who have been under pressure ever since offensive tweets were found on fast bowler Ollie Robinson’s social media last week, have been notified.

England bowling coach Jon Lewis questioned the need for the ‘soft signal’ after a controversial reprieve for Devon Conway 22 runs into his eventual 80.

Stuart Broad was convinced he had Conway caught at third slip by Zak Crawley, but on-field umpires Richard Illingworth and Richard Kettleborough gave a soft signal of not out before referring it to their TV colleague Michael Gough.

Gough needed conclusive evidence they had made a mistake to overturn their ruling, but insisted the ball had clearly bounced before Crawley completed the catch. England were livid.

England bowling coach Jon Lewis questioned the need for the 'soft signal' after a controversial reprieve for Devon Conway

England bowling coach Jon Lewis questioned the need for the 'soft signal' after a controversial reprieve for Devon Conway

England bowling coach Jon Lewis questioned the need for the ‘soft signal’ after a controversial reprieve for Devon Conway

‘You could see from the reaction on the field that they were clearly frustrated,’ said Lewis. ‘The question really is whether the soft signal is required, or could the guy off the field make the decision. New Zealand will be happy with it, England will be frustrated with it.’

Conway said: ‘I nicked it, and looked back, and wasn’t 100% sure if it did carry, and stood there to see if the umpire was going to give me out. Fortunately, the ruling went my way, and I’m very grateful that it perhaps bounced in front of the fielder.

‘We’ve got the technology to prove if the guys are catching it or whether it dropped short, so why not use that technology?’

Stuart Broad was convinced he had Conway caught at third slip by Zak Crawley

Stuart Broad was convinced he had Conway caught at third slip by Zak Crawley

Stuart Broad was convinced he had Conway caught at third slip by Zak Crawley

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