A screenshot of Michael Holding during the Sky Sports Cricket commentary stint. | Photo: Twitter
A screenshot of Michael Holding during the Sky Sports Cricket commentary stint. | Photo: Twitter
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New Delhi: Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle tipped his hat to British television channel Sky Sports Cricket Wednesday for offering fellow commentator and former West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding the space to send his “powerful message” on racism and colonialism.

Bhogle said, “Well done @SkyCricket to offer time to talk about educating people on a cricket broadcast. I can see people in the comments section squirming a bit. I am smiling at the thought of educating them about colonialism and the extraordinary cruelty of some they regard as heroes!!”

His comments came in reference to Holding’s remarks during a broadcast of England vs West Indies Test Wednesday.

What Holding said

As part of the broadcast, Sky Cricket aired a 16-minute documentary where Holding teamed up with former England cricketer Ebony Rainford-Brent to discuss racism in the sport and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Later in the pre-match commentary, Holding stressed that it’s crucial to educate people to end racism. The channel shared the clip on social media, titling it as a “powerful message”.

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“What people need to understand is that this thing stems from… hundreds of years ago. The dehumanisation of the black race is where it started,” said the 66-year-old Jamaica-born commentator.

Holding also spoke on the explosive Amy Cooper case in May in which a white American woman made a false police report on an African-American bird-watcher in New York City.

“She [Cooper]…had the thought process that she was white, this man is black…the black guy will have to prove he is not guilty and by the time he proves he’s not guilty, he might be dead…That is why she did what she did,” said Holding.

The legendary fast bowler said the solution to racism was “to educate both sides – black and white” and recognise that history is “written by the conqueror”.

Holding also mentioned that the image of Jesus is of a man that has “pale skin, blonde hair [and] blue eyes” whereas Judas was dark-skinned.

This comes a month after another West Indies cricketer Darren Sammy posted a video on Instagram, saying he has been called ‘Kalu’, a word that is “degrading” to black people, during his days with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.

Holding is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers to have played the game. He played 60 Tests for West Indies between 1975 and 1987, with 249 wickets to his name.


Also read: Four ways to be an ally in the fight against racism


 

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