'Sport has power to change the world': CWI releases statement on racism

St John's [Antigua], June 3 (ANI): "Sport has the power to change the world," said Cricket West Indies (CWI) as the cricketing body released a statement of its own on racism.

The body's remarks come as Black Lives Matter' protests are taking place throughout the US after an African-American man -- George Floyd -- passed away after having a knee pressed into his neck by a police officer identified as Derek Chauvin.

"Our cricketing heroes helped in large measure to pave the way for cricket and our West Indian societies to thrive at home, and generated great enjoyment and dignity for the West Indian diaspora abroad while they faced their own experiences of inequality and injustice in their adopted homes," Cricket West Indies said in its official released statement on its website.

"We, therefore, support all sporting icons and role models who are today leading the way in peacefully protesting and standing against the scourge of racism and injustice. CWI believes that with sportsmen and women standing together, the sport has the power to change the world, it has the power to inspire and unite people in a way that little else can, it added.

In the statement, CWI has also said that the body stands with all those people who are peacefully protesting in their fight for equal rights and justice.

"Cricket West Indies stands together with the millions around in the world battling against racism and the fight for equality and justice. We were all horrified as we witnessed the treatment and consequent death of unarmed black man, George Floyd, this led to major protests around the world. We join our cricketers, other stakeholders, and all sportsmen in speaking out against all forms of racism and inequality," CWI said.

"We stand alongside all who are peacefully protesting and championing the cause. The people of the West Indies have fought many battles of our own on and off the field. We have been blessed to witness the prowess, determination, and leadership of our cricketing heroes who united the Caribbean and brought great success and pride to our people," it added.

On Tuesday, West Indies all-rounder Darren Sammy had made an appeal to the ICC and other cricket boards to support the fight against social injustice and racism.

"@ICC and all the other boards are you guys not seeing what's happening to ppl like me? Are you not gonna speak against the social injustice against my kind. This is not only about America. This happens every day #BlackLivesMatter now is not the time to be silent. I wanna hear u," Sammy tweeted.

Opening batsman Chris Gayle had also condoled the demise of Floyd and had said that he too has been a victim of racism. The left-handed Gayle said that its a myth that racism exists in cricket as well.

Ever since the demise of Floyd, protests erupted from demonstrations in cities from San Francisco to Boston.

The officer who pressed his knee on Floyd's neck has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

He and three other officers have been fired from the force as well after the video of Floyd's death emerged.

Earlier, an over 200-year-old historic St John's church near White House was vandalised and set on fire as protests over the death of Floyd escalated into rioting and multiple fires were seen in Washington and other US cities. (ANI)