Abu Dhabi: Mumbai Indians all-rounder Hardik Pandya on Sunday became the first player in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) to take a knee, in solidarity with the ‘Black Lives Matter’ (BLM) movement. He gestured the support by taking a knee with his right arm raised, and a grin directed towards his Mumbai Indians’ co-player and Captain – Keiron Pollard.
Hardik Pandya slammed 60 runs off just 21 deliveries, packed with seven sixes and two fours. It is after reaching his half-century mark, Pandya took to support the cause. The 27-year-old cricketer also took to Twitter to share a picture of the same. He captioned it #BlackLivesMatter.
The fight against racism and the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement gained international support and momentum after an Afro-American man George Floyd was killed in May 2020. Floyd died when he was confronted by police officers when one of them pressed his knee on the victim’s neck, as shown in videos that went viral. Floyd reportedly died due to suffocation from pressure on his neck. Ever since then, many celebrities, including sportsmen, have shown their support for the fight against racism.
Last week, Jason Holder, West Indies’ skipper and a member of the Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL, had expressed disappointment over the title sponsor Dream 11’s disregard for BLM movement. Earlier in July, during the West Indies-England Test series, players from both sides had taken a knee before each match of their series in unanimity to support the Black Lives Matter movement.