“To say I was surprised at the volume of positive feedback I received from around the world after my comments on Sky Sports is an understatement. I came to realise I couldn’t just stop there; I had to take it forward – hence the book, as I believe education is the way forward.” – Michael Holding.
Rarely can a rain delay in a cricket match have led to anything like the moment when Holding spoke out in the wake of the #BlackLivesMatter protests about the racism he has suffered and has seen all around him throughout his life. But as he spoke, he sought not only to educate but to propose a way forward that inspired so many. Within minutes, he was receiving calls from famous sports stars from around the world offering to help him to spread the message further.
Now, in Why We Kneel, How We Rise, Holding shares his story together with those of some of the most iconic athletes in the world, including Usain Bolt, Adam Goodes, Thierry Henry, Michael Johnson, Ibtihaj Muhammad, Makhaya Ntini, Naomi Osaka and Hope Powell. He delivers a powerful and inspiring message of hope for the future and a vision for change, while providing the background and history to an issue that has dogged the world for many centuries.
Through the prism of sport and conversations with its legends, the book explains how racism dehumanises people; how it works to achieve that end; how it has been ignored by history and historians; and what it is like to be treated differently just because of the colour of your skin.