Writing in the Daily Mail, Stuart Broad expressed his opinion that England’s players taking a knee during their upcoming Test series against West Indies in support of the Black Lives Matter movement would be “a good thing to do”, but said a decision hasn’t yet been reached on whether they would do so.
In the English Premier League, all teams have started each game by kneeling in unison before action gets underway as a show of solidarity.
“Taking a knee before just one game does not instigate change, it doesn’t encourage people to think about these issues over the longer term and this movement is something we need to keep in people’s minds,” Broad said.
“We are yet to decide officially as an England team what we will do over and above displaying the logo designed by Watford footballer Troy Deeney on our collars and there will be further discussions in the coming days as to what English cricketers and those from the West Indies can do to keep that message going. I know Joe Root has chatted to West Indies captain Jason Holder and although nothing has been confirmed, I would think taking a knee would be a good thing to do.
“To my mind, that would continue on from the great work done by the footballers. Others in different fields have also done important things, of course, but I compare our team to our football equivalents as their gestures have made an impact from a sporting perspective.”
Both sides will wear the Black Lives Matter logo, designed by the partner of Watford captain Troy Deeney, on their collars, something Broad described as “100 per cent the right decision”.
“On Wednesday morning, players from both England and West Indies will walk out at the Ageas Bowl with the Black Lives Matter logo on our shirts,” he said. “To me, this is 100 per cent the right decision. The Premier League footballers have led the way in building awareness and we have a responsibility to maintain that momentum they have created. Black Lives Matter is about education, and that means increasing people’s awareness of it over time, encouraging people to know more, to understand more, and it must be sustained.”
However, Broad stressed that gestures could only go so far, and that “better avenues” were needed to ensure more Black players made it to the top level of English cricket.
“It’s so important that this isn’t something that’s relevant for three weeks because it’s something that’s relevant for generations,” he said. “I’m not suggesting we take the knee for the next 20 years but the time is right for it now.
“As professional sports people, we have to think what we stand for and I would hope that every person that comes into this England setup, regardless of their background, feels a sense of equality. But there is a lot of work to be done by everyone in making sure opportunities are arising for the BAME community at all levels. From a specifically cricket perspective, it is about creating better avenues.”