Friday 27 November, 2020

Holding's monologue on racism rakes up over 5m views on Twitter

Legendary Jamaica and West Indies fast bowling great Michael Holding.

Legendary Jamaica and West Indies fast bowling great Michael Holding.

Legendary Jamaica and West Indies fast bowling great Michael Holding's comments about racism went viral with over 5.5 million views on Twitter, on a day cricket made a comeback after months of hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Holding,  who played in the great West Indian sides of the 1970s and 1980s, said education was key to stamping out racism as England and the West Indies took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter campaign before the first Test, at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, on Wednesday.

“Education is important unless we want to continue living the life we are living and continue just having demonstrations every now and again and a few people saying a few things. When I say education, I mean going back in history”, the 66-year-old Holding told Sky Sports.

Holding went on to mention that both sides need to be included in historical teachings and not just the white historical perspective as only that way people will truly understand that all lives matter.

Holding's was speaking almost two months following the death of George Floyd,  a 46-year-old black American man, in police custody in the United States on May 25. Global outrage at the manner of Floyd’s death inspired worldwide protests under the banner of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“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."

The West Indies great and Sky Sports pundit further asked, "You can tell me who invented the lightbulb? Thomas Edison. But he invented the 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."

Holding’s monologue has been endorsed by current West Indies captain Jason Holder who hailed the message as ‘powerful’. Australian legendary spinner Shane Warne described Holding's comments as ‘outstanding’ while New Zealand cricketer Mitchell McClenaghan said it was a ‘very powerful piece.

Holding also spoke about times he faced racism as a young Test cricketer on his visits to Australia and England.

“I went on my very first tour of Australia in 1975-’76,” Holding said.

“I never experienced any racism on the cricket field, but you are fielding down by the boundary and you hear some comments being passed. At that stage, I just thought ‘these people are sick’.”

“I came to England in ‘76 and it started again, but myself – and most of the team – just brushed it off,” said Holding. “I told myself that I was only here for the summer and I would be going back (home) in September.”



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