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I don’t think I would be alive if I grew up in UK: Michael Holding

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West Indies great Michael Holding has become a leading voice against racism in sport and society. However, the 67-year-old Jamaican legend believes that had he been so outspoken in his younger days then it may well have cost him his life in England.

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“I don’t think I would be alive today. As a young man I was a bit fiery. I kicked a stump out of the ground in New Zealand (1980) so can you imagine me going through what Ebony went through?

“No, I would not have made it,” Holding was quoted as saying by ‘The Telegraph’ referring to what his co-commentator and former England woman international Ebony Rainford-Brent endured growing up in the UK.

Holding, who now lives in the United Kingdom, is a strong advocate of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“Growing up in Jamaica, I didn’t experience racism. I experienced it every time I left Jamaica. Each time I experienced it I just told myself ‘this is not your life’, I will soon be going back home’.

“And if I had made a stand my career would not have lasted as long as it did, I would not have had a long television career. We have seen through history that black people who stand up for their rights and call out injustice are victimised.

“Mercy, if I had spoken out they would have said ? another angry young black man get rid of him.’ I would have been another person on the dung heap.”

Holding will be releasing a new book on racism “Why We Kneel, How We Rise”.

He said that his sister found one of the chapters difficult as it took a toll on her emotionally. “I sent a chapter to my sister and she said she could not read it. The ones about lynchings and dehumanisation, the picture of three black bodies hanging from the tree that was turned into a postcard.”

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