Anti-racism message that’s getting through
West Indian captain Jason Holder became a powerful sporting force for change when the Black Lives Matter movement found its voice in cricket.
The decision of Holder and his West Indian teammates to "take a knee" during the Test series against England this year put the spotlight on racism, and the effects have taken hold in the game.
Two of Holder's West Indian teammates, Carlos Brathwaite and Andre Fletcher, have brought the powerful stand to the Big Bash, both taking a knee with their teammates before every game this season.
Holder has joined Braithwaite at the Sydney Sixers, a club which has committed to "fight for inclusion and justice and to stand with our communities on the path to reconciliation and equal rights".
He might only be in Australia for three games, but Holder said it was "heartwarming" to see the positive response from fellow players and the public to the message they are trying to send.
Holder said conversations with both Brathwaite and Fletcher revealed people wanted to know more, and he hoped it would get to a point where taking a knee was no longer necessary.
"The heartwarming thing for me is people are really eager and keen to find out what the history of it, the meaning of it, and generally trying to educate themselves on it," said Holder, who will make his Big Bash debut on Sunday in Hobart against the Adelaide Strikers.
"The knee was in solidarity for the movement and showing awareness about our position. As I've said time and time again, it should be about awareness of racism in general.
"Hopefully, we can gather that much awareness that there is no need to continue to take a knee. Once there is a little bit more equality in life and throughout the races, that's the main objective.
"A lot of people are not cognisant of the fact that they do certain things or say certain things in different environments.
"With a little bit more awareness people will be in better position."
Holder is among a growing cohort of West Indians in the Big Bash this year, a number aided by less conflicting international duties.
But while he has always eyed off playing in the Big Bash, Holder would dearly love to captain a Test tour to Australia and reignite the passionate rivalry the two teams established in the 1980s and 90s.
The teams haven't played in a Test match since January 2016 and won't play a Test match until the West Indies return to Australia for a two-Test series in 2022.
"It's been a while since we have come here. The last one was 2015," Holder said.
"We always relish the opportunity to come over here and play. Hopefully, we can get more tours in the years to come."
Originally published as Anti-racism message that's getting through