The year 2020 continues to stun, though for all the wrong reasons.

The latest development, which has disturbed everyone, is horrific - the cold blooded murder in the US of African-American George Floyd under the arrogance-pumped, clenched elbow lock of white supremacy.

Globally, people reacted and came forward to support the victim, to challenge the system and to record their hatred against deep-rooted racism in societies around the world and also motivated others to join them in their pursuit of equality.

Choosing a side in such scenarios of stark moral tumult often takes on graver significance than in normal times.

It was thus understandable that Darren Sammy, who twice led the West Indies to World T20 victories, spoke up. Narrating his own ordeal facing racism and that of ''his kind'', he urged the International Cricket Council [ICC], along with other international cricket boards, to choose sides.

In his latest tweets, he emotionally questioned the stance of the ICC and the other boards. He suggested that they clearly come out in sport of the ''Black Lives Matter'' movement and dismiss racism and white supremacy.

Sammy's tweets suggested that if the cricket world remains silent during such traumatic times, its silence would be taken to be in support of injustice.

The incident also triggered Chris Gayle to document his disapproval of it. However, such acts of cruelty, followed by public uproar and prominent sportspersons making their loyalties known, is not an isolated occurrence.

Indeed, just a few years back, in 2014, the late Kobe Bryant, and other iconic basketball players, including LeBron James, were photographed donning ''I Can't Breathe'' T-shirts after an almost identical incident had claimed the life of another black person, Eric Garner, in almost the same manner and circumstances.

He, too, had suffocated to death under a police chokehold, gasping for his life, especially the same line which fell on the insensitive ears of the policemen pinning him down.

Floyd's incident revived memories of the Garner episode and made people realize that, maybe, nothing has changed. Even in a lost cause, sometimes it becomes imperative and very critical to choose a side.

Other than the two Caribbean men, many other sportspersons have also registered their frustration and disappointments via symbolic gestures on the field.

In the recent past, the quarterback for the American football team the San Francisco 49ers, Colin Kaepernick had caused a political storm when he knelt on one leg during the national anthem, to register his protest against racial violence and discrimination in the US, including local police brutality and suppression of people of colour.

Kaeponick's popular kneeling gesture was echoed by the rugby teams of Liverpool and New Castle United who repeated the gesture, this time to protest the killing of George Floyd.

In fact, the reaction to injustice has been so widespread that, marking a new precedent, even FIFA asked its member countries to exercise 'common sense' while responding to symbolic protests, contrary to their very strict policies against players promoting any political, religious or personal stance in their playing kits while on the field.

In the initial days after the Floyd incident some players in the German Bundesdiga were found wearing bands with T-shirts with the message 'Justice For George Floyd. '

FIFA, however, asked their member countries to understand these emotions and to refrain from booking these players.

This was followed by more teams from Bundesliga showcasing one knee gestures before the start of their matches.

The Honor and Serving of the latest global thinking and feeling on racism, continues. The World Students Society thanks author Dr. Khawaja Ali Shahid.


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