Joe Root: “It is very simple, we believe there is no room for racism or any form of discrimination, anywhere”
Last Updated: 02/07/20 3:58pm
England players will wear a Black Lives Matter logo on their shirts during the upcoming Test series against the West Indies.
The West Indies had already confirmed they will be wearing the logo, which was designed by Alisha Hosannah and has been used by all clubs since the restart of the Premier League.
The decision for England’s cricketers to wear the logo too was supported by Test captain Joe Root and Ben Stokes, who will lead the side in next week’s opening match, but taken by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
Root said: “It is important to show solidarity to the black community and to raise much-needed awareness around the topics of equality and justice.
“The England players and management are unified in this approach and will use the platform of international cricket to fully support the objective of eradicating racial prejudice wherever it exists.
“It is very simple, we believe there is no room for racism or any form of discrimination, anywhere.”
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison made it clear the move showed support for “progress and societal change” and it did not extend to explicit backing for any wider political aims.
The International Cricket Council’s code of conduct forbids players to wear clothing or equipment bearing political or religious messaging, unless it is agreed by the respective boards as well as the ICC itself.
On this occasion, all three bodies are unanimous about the action, as well as the limit of its context.
Harrison said: “The England and Wales Cricket Board fully support the message that Black Lives Matter.
“It has become a message of solidarity and a drive for progress and societal change.
“There can be no place for racism in society or our sport, and we must do more to tackle it.
“Our support of that message is not an endorsement, tacit or otherwise, of any political organisation, nor the backing of any group that calls for violence or condones illegal activity.
“We are aware of certain aspects of the movement that promote their own political views, and their actions are not supported in any way by the ECB and our players.
“This moment is about unity.
“We are proud that our players will stand alongside those from the West Indies and wear a logo that embodies that philosophy. It is fitting that they do so in solidarity with athletes from the football world who wore it first.
“Our thanks go to Troy Deeney and his partner Alisha Hosannah, creator of the logo, who generously agreed to share it with us.”
Watford captain Deeney said: “Alisha and I are immensely proud to be asked and take part in a monumental moment in world sport, this amazing decision by the England and West Indies cricket teams to show their support for Black Lives Matter.”
The England and West Indies squads are currently preparing for the first Test, which starts at the Ageas Bowl next Wednesday.