Former West Indies captain Daren Sammy has urged cricket’s governing bodies to treat racism more seriously and pay it the same attention they give to upholding the integrity of the game.
Athletes across the world have spoken out about racism in sport as part of the Black Lives Matter protests after the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody in Minneapolis on May 25.
Sammy, who led West Indies to two Twenty20 World Cup titles, has been at the forefront of the movement in cricket and wants those who run the game to do more.
“We’ve made the recommendations. You know racism is real. It is not something that we can hide,” Sammy told Reuters from Trinidad, where he is playing in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
“So I urge them [to give racism] the same emphasis they put on protecting the integrity of the game. Why not protect the integrity of human beings?
“If you’re able to raise awareness in the game, where every person, every human being is treated equally, regardless of the colour of their skin, I think that is the way the world should be.”
Sammy, who will lead the St Lucia Zouks in the CPL final against Trinbago Knight Riders later on Thursday, travels around the world with his former West Indies teammate Chris Gayle to play in numerous domestic tournaments as Twenty20 freelancers.
Both have complained about facing racial abuse in the past.
Former Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed was slapped with a four-match ban last year for a racist remark aimed at South Africa all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo, while England’s Black fast bowler Jofra Archer was abused on social media.
England joined West Indies in wearing “Black Lives Matter” logos on their shirts during their recent Test series and also took the knee as part of the protests against racism.
“My focus now is to educate people on certain slurs that is inappropriate to people of colour,” said Sammy, who felt his T20-related travel had helped him better understand the culture and different backgrounds of players across the world.
“That’s where I will always use my voice to advocate change for the better.”