REZA ready to make a stand : The Frenchman is the only black rider in Tour de France peloton this year.

LYON : After years of keeping quiet on the matter, Kevin Reza, the only Black Rider in the Tour de France peloton this year, says he is ready to make his voice heard amid the Black Lives Matter movement.

The 32-year-old who turned professional in 2011 and rides for French outfit B&B Vital Concept, would like his peers to express support for the BLM movement but with professional cycling being largely an-all-white business, Reza is on his own.

''It's a shame. You can see the big names in sport giving themselves the means to speak, to make noise, to show their solidarity with this movement,'' Reza, who was born on the outskirts of Paris to a family that originated from the French overseas region of Guadeloupe, told Reuters.

''I'm Kevin Reza, I don't carry as much weight in world sport as Lewis Hamilton in Formula One or Lebron James in the NBA.''

Reza, however, believes, he can make a difference.

''I'm thinking about putting things in place, about being able to show my support for this movement. It's not always easy and it's tricky to go headlong and not think about exactly what you want to do,'' he explained.

''But that doesn't mean that I don't support this movement.''

While he does not believe the professional peloton to be racist, Reza said he has suffered racism while racing.

In 2014, he accused Michael Albasini of using a racial slur during a Tour de France stage. The Swiss said he had been misunderstood.

That day, Reza was backed by his team manager, Jene Rene Bernaudeau.

''I do not tolerate racism.......... It's unacceptable, unacceptable,'' Bernaudeau, who helped several Black riders turn professional, said at the time.

''I got Albasini on the phone. I told him what I thought of his attitude. He tells me that's not true. But I trust Kevin and he was upset.'' [Reuters]


Post a Comment

Grace A Comment!