Australia Test Squad cricketers have taken a knee for the first time on home soil.
Before the match, a spokesperson said they consulted with the West Indies team, who confirmed they would be taking a knee.
They added: “As we’ve done in the West Indies and during the recent warm-up games we will support the West Indies team and take a knee alongside them.”
Australian captain Pat Cummins, who led the gesture, said it symbolised equality for the West Indies, according to news.com.au.
“We’re doing it out of respect for the West Indies, in support of equality,” he said, as per the outlet.
“Anyone who says that‘s a bad thing, I’m not too bothered about.”
Both teams also participated in a Barefoot Circle - a mark of respect to First Nations people before the first ball.
Many online were quick to commend the Australian team over the historic moment, as one person on Twitter wrote: “Nice. Simple and easy way to make a pretty non-controversial statement of support.”
Another said: “A little overdue but welcome all the same. Good stuff #AUSvWI.”
While a third simply shared: “Hell yes.”
Nice. Simple and easy way to make a pretty non-controversial statement of support https://t.co/yQMWTdkifo— Nate Llewellyn (@MrNateLlewellyn) November 30, 2022
However, some fans were left outraged while maintaining sports should exclude politics.
One person wrote: “Are the plonkers taking a virtue signalling knee? If so, I’m not interested in watching them. Let me know.”
Another said: “I’ll watch the match but not the welcome to country and knee bending woke rainbow power rubbish.”
While another commented: “How long will @CricketAus stand by and do nothing whilst the Aust Cricket Team continue to destroy the following of the game with their woke, knee taking, climate cult rubbish? No bums on Seats. #GoWokeGoBroke #Cricket.”
Are the plonkers taking a virtue signalling knee? If so, I’m not interested in watching them. Let me know.— Gavin Dingley (@GJDingley) November 29, 2022
I’ll watch the match but not the welcome to country and knee bending woke rainbow power rubbish— tim (@Tiger27745120) November 28, 2022
How long will @CricketAus stand by and do nothing whilst the Aust Cricket Team continue to destroy the following of the game with their woke, knee taking, climate cult rubbish? No bums on Seats. #GoWokeGoBroke #Cricket— Francis_Young (@commonsense058) November 30, 2022
Despite the criticism, the act of support has been praised by legendary West Indies cricketer and commentator Michael Holding.
Holding told The Age he is ‘extremely proud and happy’.
He added: "To those who talk about not mixing sport and politics, why did they not go and play in South Africa during apartheid?”
He continued: “What we need to do is ensure those detractors are pushed into the margins so whatever they say and do becomes more and more insignificant, and [encourage] people who continue to do the right thing to educate more and more people so more and more people will see and do the right things.”
Featured Image Credit: Fox/Kayo Sports
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