Chris Gayle has become the second active cricketer after Darren Sammy to join a growing number of sports personalities worldwide in publicly raising their voice against the scourge of racism following the custodial killing of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman in the USA.
Floyd, 46, a black man, died in Minneapolis on May 25 – a death now officially classified as a homicide – after a white police officer had held him down with his knee on his neck for over eight minutes while he was handcuffed. The incident, captured on video, has sparked widespread, angry protests across the USA.
Several sportspersons have spoken out since then, with basketball great LeBron James putting out a social media post referencing Colin Kaepernick – the NFL quarterback – who famously kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice. The English Premier League football side Liverpool also “took a knee” while prominent players in the German Bundesliga wore t-shirts in solidarity with the protests.
Responding to the viral news, the West Indies star batsman Chris Gayle took to social media on Monday and wrote that racism exists in cricket too and not just in the sport of football.
“Black lives matter just like any other life. Black people matter, p***k all racist people, stop taking black people for fools, even our own black people wise the p***k up and stop bringing down your own! I have travelled the globe and experience racial remarks towards me because I am black, believe me, the list goes on,” Gayle wrote on his Twitter account.
“Racism is not only in football, it’s in cricket too. Even within teams as a black man, I get the end of the stick. Black and powerful. Black and proud,” he added.
— Chris Gayle (@henrygayle) June 1, 2020
On Tuesday, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also tweeted a picture of Jos Buttler, Jofra Archer and Adil Rashid hugging, captioned: “We stand for diversity. We stand against racism.”
We stand for diversity,
We stand against racism. pic.twitter.com/onhWj07n2i
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 1, 2020
In November last year, England fast bowler and World-Cup winner Jofra Archer was at the receiving end of a racist comment from a spectator during the Test series in New Zealand. Archer later said that the person contacted him on Instagram. “I will never understand how people feel so freely to say these things to another human being. It baffles me,” Archer had said. Later in January this year, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) confirmed that it had banned a 28-year-old man for two years from attending any cricket in the country following a police investigation into the matter.