Former West Indian batsman and current national team head coach Phil Simmons has recently revealed that he was racially abused while playing club cricket in England.
Simmons had played county cricket for Durham and Leicestershire apart from playing in the league cricket during the 80s and 90s in the North East. However, the West Indies coach did not specify in which English league he was racially targeted but said it affected his wife.
With the racism becoming a topic of global debate following the death of African-American George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in the USA, several sports personalities including the cricketers like Chris Gayle and Darren Sammy have openly shared their own experiences facing racist abuse, as well as, extended supports to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
Simmons told a news conference: “I encountered quite a bit (of racism) up in the leagues. In county cricket, I haven't really encountered that much. But I have encountered it in the leagues.”
He further added, “It's not a nice thing to face. Especially in the leagues where you're by yourself sometimes. It affected my wife when I was up there. It's not a nice thing. I played in three or four different leagues. It was one particular league up in the north east.”
The coach also confirmed that his West Indies squad will support the Black Lives Matter movement, following the lead of the Premier League in England, where they are currently in to play 3 Tests starting on July 8.
Simmons signed off by saying, “We definitely are thinking about things that we can do to show our solidarity with the movement. We definitely have plans to show our unity and our backing to it. The chats with the English are on-going and by the end of this week we'll see what we can do together.”
(With ESPNcricinfo Inputs)