The International Cricket Council (ICC) could reportedly loosen its interpretation of a playing code if players “take a knee” or wear and display slogans as a mark of solidarity to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
Previously, the ICC has taken actions against players who made statements that were considered political. During last year’s World Cup, the governing body of the game had to ask MS Dhoni not to wear the gloves with the dagger insignia. The former India captain is an honorary lieutenant-colonel in the Parachute Regiment of the Indian Territorial Army and the dagger is similar to the regimental emblem.
The ICC had stated that the India wicketkeeper breached two clauses of the clothing and equipment regulations: one relating to display of “personal messages” and the other concerning the logo on his glove.
In 2014, ICC match referee David Boon had asked England allrounder Moeen Ali not to wear the wristbands with slogans ‘Save Gaza’ and ‘Free Palestine’. Ali was sporting the wristbands during a Test against India.
But the ICC looks set to relax some of its rules if the players decide to raise their voice against racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death in the USA. According to ESPNCricinfo, the ICC will treat displays of solidarity by players in this matter on a “case-by-case basis”.
“The ICC stands against racism and is proud of the diversity of our sport,” an ICC spokesperson told the news outlet. “We support players using their platform to appropriately express their support for a more equitable society. We will exercise a common sense approach to the implementation of regulations in relation to this issue and they will be assessed on a case-by-case basis by the match officials.”
In order to protest against racism, a number of sportsmen have “taken a knee” referencing Colin Kaepernick, the former National Football League (NFL) quarterback, who famously kneeled during a rendition of the US national anthem at an NFL game while representing San Francisco 49ers to protest police brutality and racial injustice in 2016. Kaepernick was reprimanded by the NFL and has not played since then.