You can’t stamp out racism in sport without tackling it in society: Michael Holding

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Michael Holding

“You will get racism in cricket grounds and you cannot stamp it out from sports without tackling it by the society,” says pace legend Michael Holding amid the world-wide campaign against racism after the killing of African-American George Floyd in the US.

Holding, who took 249 wickets in 60 Tests for West Indies between 1975 and 1987, said individual sports need not worry about racism.

“You will get racism, people will shout things at cricket grounds, football grounds, wherever, you can’t stamp out racism by tackling individual sports, you have to tackle the society,” the 66-year-old said in an Insta Chat on Sunday.

“It is the people from the society who go to these grounds and shout racist slogans or racist abuse at people. You have to tackle it from the society itself, not the sport.

“Fine, sports can have their rules and regulations under which you enter the ground, that’s just a plaster on the sore. The people in the society have got to understand that it is unacceptable, and when you tackle it in the society itself, it will not spill over in sport.”

Holding’s West Indian compatriots Darren Sammy and Chris Gayle have spoken strongly against racism and supported the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign around the world.

Former West Indies captain Sammy has even alleged that he was subjected to racist comments during his stint with Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.

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