Michael Holding wants people to form an anti-racist identity | Sunday Observer

Michael Holding wants people to form an anti-racist identity

10 October, 2021
Michael Holding
Michael Holding

West Indies great Michael Holding says people must “call out” and “embarrass” racists if equality is to be achieved.

Earlier this year, Holding released a book about racial discrimination and revealed he suffered “barbaric” abuse as a player in England.

The 67-year-old was widely praised last year after speaking eloquently on the topic following George Floyd’s murder.

Now he has called on people to be “anti-racist”, saying: “You need good people to stop being silent.”

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live’s All About programme, Holding said: “It is no longer good enough to say ‘I am fine, I am not racist’.

“You have now got to be anti-racist. You have got to call out the racists and you have got to embarrass the racists.

“Don’t just be silent and say to yourself ‘I am not like him or her’. You have got to be anti.”

Former fast bowler Holding was part of the legendary Windies attack of the 1970s and 1980s - taking 249 wickets in 60 Tests - and played county cricket for Lancashire and Derbyshire.

The Jamaican then enjoyed a successful career in broadcasting for more than 30 years before retiring in September.

Holding said of his speech on Sky Sports after Floyd’s death: “A lot of people don’t understand how difficult it is for black people and people of colour to be keeping this thing inside, trying to ignore it and live a normal life.

“That is what I was trying to explain to people that this is not the way people should live.

“A lot of people are living on the edge.

“I don’t think I’ll be alive to see equality for everyone but I am hoping that we are heading in that direction.

“I see some signs that we are heading in that direction.”

Holding added: “You still have some people behaving like fools. I don’t think you will get rid of everyone.

“But more and more good people are speaking out and more and more people are opening their eyes and their ears.

“I run across a lot of people on the streets of England, messages I get, coming around and understanding what is going on.” (BBC Sport)