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ICC to take a 'common sense approach' if players protest over killing of George Floyd
Protests Against Racism

ICC to take a 'common sense approach' if players protest over killing of George Floyd

Image Credits: AP

The International Cricket Council has agreed to relax its regulation concerning the ban on personal messages "which relate to political, religious or racial activities or causes" over the possibility of Black Lives Matter protests by players.

The ICC will take a "common sense approach" when dealing with any player deciding to go down on one knee or wear clothing exhibiting slogans in solidarity with the widespread protests as a reaction to the killing of George Floyd.

Leading athletes around the globe have spoken out against systemic racism after Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American man, died in police custody in Minneapolis when an officer deliberately knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

The ICC has generally shied away from allowing players to take political stands but it is willing to show leniency in these extraordinary circumstances.

"The ICC stands against racism and is proud of the diversity of our sport," a statement from the world cricket body read.

"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."

Kneeling is considered to be a symbolic act of resistance and showing support to the Black Lives Matter movement after it was first done by American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was ostracised by the NFL community for his gesture.

The ICC has usually refused to back political messages during games with former India skipper MS Dhoni being forced to remove an army insignia from his wicketkeeping gloves at the 2019 World Cup.

Similarly, England spinner Moeen Ali was prevented from wearing wristbands featuring the slogans "Save Gaza" and "Free Palestine" in 2014. Although the ECB briefly argued for Moeen's right to don this piece of clothing, the ICC did not yield to the appeal.

England pace bowling sensation Jofra Archer recently called on cricketers to be more vocal against the issue of racism.

"As an individual, I've always been one for speaking out, especially if something bothers you. My personal view is that you should never keep things bottled up because racism is not okay," he said.

International cricket finally resumes following a three-month hiatus with the commencement of the three-Test series between England and West Indies next month.