West Indies legend Michael Holding fights back tears as he delivers passionate anti-racism speech before England clash


MICHAEL HOLDING delivered passionate and emotional words on his experiences of racism – and why things must change.

Former fast bowling Holding – a long-time commentator – was speaking while rain delayed the start of play in the First Test.

And ex-England batter Ebony Rainford-Brent also recalled with feeling the racism she suffered when she started playing cricket.

Referring to the death of George Floyd that sparked global outrage, Holding said: “People could see life slowing ebbing out of the man and people could see the look on the police officer’s face and the police officers around. 

“As if they didn’t care. If this man dies, it is just another black man that we have killed.

“If you don’t educate people, they will keep growing up in that sort of society and you won’t get meaningful change. 

“When people say white lives matter or all lives matter, please, we black people know white lives matter.

“It is obvious, the evidence is clearly there, that white lives matter. We want black lives to matter now, simple as that.”

Holding added: “What people need to understand is that this goes back hundreds of years. The dehumanisation of the black race is where it started. 

“We have been brainwashed. Think about religion. I’m not really a very holy person… look at Jesus Christ, pale skin, blond hair, blue eyes.

“Where Jesus came from, who in that part of the world looks like that?

“But this is brainwashing, this is what the image of perfection is. And Judas is a black man, he’s the bad man. 

“You can tell me who invented the lightbulb – Thomas Edison. But he invented a light bulb with a paper filament that burnt out in no time. 

“Can you tell me who invented the filament that makes these lights shine throughout? Nobody knows because he was a black man. 

“Lewis Howard Latimer invented the carbon filament that allows lights to shine continuously.

“I remember my school days – I was never taught anything good about black people. History is written by the conqueror not by those who are conquered. 

“They keep telling me there is nothing called white privilege. Give me a break.”

Rainford-Brent, now part of the Sky Sports team, revealed: “I noticed as soon as I walked into the world of cricket that the comments started.

“Comments about where I grew up, the fact that I had a long name and maybe my mum didn’t know who my dads were, about my hair, body parts, especially the derriere shall we say.

“That the food I ate stank, did I wash my skin? Everyone in my area gets stabbed. It was just constant. 

“I’ve been in a team environment, dealing with people constantly referring to ‘your lot.’

“I’m not surprised some people don’t want to deal with that.

“I questioned myself sometimes why I stayed so long but I love the game and it has so much more to offer.

“But it can be really difficult dealing with that day in, day out.”


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