England’s cricket team will join the West Indies in wearing shirts showing the Black Lives Matter logo throughout this months’ Test series.
The decision was taken by the England and Wales Cricket Board and supported by Test captains Joe Root and Ben Stokes, who will lead the side in next week’s opening match.
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison insisted the gesture showed support for “progress and societal change” and denied it was an explicit backing of any wider political aims.
The International Cricket Council’s code of conduct forbids clothing or equipment that bear political or religious messaging - unless it is agreed by the respective boards and the ICC itself.
On this occasion, all three bodies unanimously backed the action and its context.
Mr Harrison said: “This moment is about unity. We are proud that our players will stand alongside those from the West Indies and wear a logo that embodies that philosophy. It is fitting that they do so in solidarity with athletes from the football world who wore it first.”
Premier League footballers have been wearing shirts emblazoned with the anti-racism slogan since the competition resumed last month.
Chief Executive Richard Masters was questioned by MPs over whether the move undermined the Premier League’s position as an a-political organisation.
He told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee evidence session that the league was “drawing a clear distinction between a moral cause and a political movement”.
Unlike the footballers, it is understood that the cricket squad will not take a knee ahead of the first Test.
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