England’s Chris Jordan believes ’real, behind the scenes conversations’ can address racism concerns
CAPE TOWN - England all-rounder Chris Jordan believes the “real honest work” is being done in private as cricket continues to build its relationships in relation to systematic racism within the game.
English and South African cricket has been at the heart of a race furnace that has raged through in recent months. Black former players from both countries have expressed their pain and trauma suffered due to their race.
However, Jordan, who is of Barbadian descent, believes that while the symbolic taking of the knee prior to matches is “visual”, the greater change is affected by “real conversations behind the scenes”. It is for this reason that he has accepted that the Proteas and England will not be taking a knee during the upcoming series.
"The situation is very individual,” Jordan said after training at Newlands. “I think a lot of real honest work is going on around the matter. It will be done in private. Real changes will come from those conversations that you have one on one in terms of education. If that’s what they as an organisation believe in, I don’t think it should be judged. It’s their personal decision so we can just move on.
“I’m quite open-minded around the topic in terms of the different types of work that can be done. Taking a knee is very visual that people see when they turn on sport. But I’m a big believer in a lot of the real conversations happening behind the scenes especially in our group as an England team because we come from so many different backgrounds and the matter is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. The type of questions being provoked, the real conversations happening is where a lot of the change will come from.”
Proteas coach Mark Boucher indicated this week that his team will instead fly its flag at half-mast and may wear black armbands in accordance with a call by President Cyril Ramaphosa to show respect for victims of Covid-19 and gender-based violence, which is widespread in the country.
"It's an ongoing thing for us," Boucher said when asked whether his players would take a knee. "It's not something that we have to continue to show. It's more something that you have to live. That's exactly what we're trying to do in our dressingroom at the moment.
"If the guys who brought it up are happy with it ... if they feel that we have to do more, they're certainly open to express their opinion. Our new value system is about respect, it's about empathy and belonging. All of those lead to an environment in which we feel free to talk about these hard issues."
South Africa and England face off in the first T20I on November 27 at Newlands.