India tour of Australia: Aussie team to make barefoot anti-racism gesture

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Nov 16, 2020, 06:23 PM(IST)

India tour of Australia: Aussie team to make barefoot anti-racism gesture Photograph:( Twitter )

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The Australian cricket team is set to form a “barefoot circle” during the upcoming series against India to express their opposition to racism and celebrate Aboriginal culture. Australian vice-captain Pat Cummins announced the move on Monday as he said the decision came after talks within the team.

The Australian cricket team is set to form a “barefoot circle” during the upcoming series against India to express their opposition to racism and celebrate Aboriginal culture. Australian vice-captain Pat Cummins announced the move on Monday as he said the decision came after talks within the team.

Earlier during Australia’s tour of England in September, former West Indies Michael Holding had criticized Australian team for not taking a knee.  

The practice of “barefoot circle” on the pitch before a series was introduced by the Australian women’s team earlier in 2020 at the urging of all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner, who has Aboriginal heritage.

Cummins revealed that the men’s team would do the same during the India tour, which gets underway on November 27 while making it a regular pre-match ritual at the start of a series. 

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"We think it's really important to do our bit and we've decided to do the barefoot circle," he told reporters in a conference call.

"Not only as a sport, but we as people are absolutely against racism.

"I think we could probably put our hands up and say we haven't done enough in the past and we want to get better, so this is one small thing we're going to introduce this summer."

Taking a knee on the ground was popularized by former American NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who first took a knee in 2016 to express his displeasure against police brutality against black people and other minorities. 

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"In Australia, we think the most marginalised group is the First Nations people, the indigenous people," he said.

"We think the barefoot circle is a great way to celebrate them. Some people might want to take the knee and show it (support) in different ways, we're absolutely all for that."

Whereas Australian coach Justin Langer was left aback by Holding’s criticism and said that his team wanted to send a "sustained and powerful" message against racism.
 

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