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Stafanie Taylor: West Indies and Adelaide Strikers star explains why taking a knee has been so important for her

Our team is made up of cricketers who come together from all over the world – New Zealand, South Africa, Canberra, and, of course, the majority are from Adelaide.

I am from Jamaica in the West Indies.

We are from different races, different backgrounds, and have different opinions. But in the moments before we take the field, we come together and all drop to a knee.

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Stafanie Taylor takes a knee.Source:Getty Images

England star Katherine Brunt is a supporter.Source:Getty Images

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In that moment, it really is so powerful, us all coming together to make a clear statement: that there is no place for racism, in cricket or anywhere else in our global society.

I want equality. Not just for West Indians, but for Aboriginal people here in Australia, too.

I want to be treated in the same way, I don’t want to be treated differently because I am black.

I am among those who have experienced racism in Australia, not on the cricket field, but about 10 years ago when I was in my teens, we were on tour in Australia and some West Indian teammates and I went into a bank.

We wanted to change some of our money into Australia dollars and they refused to take our money and wanted us to leave the bank.

We couldn’t understand what happened that day and when we explained to our manager, she then told us, it’s racism.

As a world, we need to be better than that.

It has been so powerful for me watching as the Black Lives Matter movement has swept across the world, especially after the death of George Floyd in the United States.

So, before this year’s Women’s Big Bash League tournament started, I talked with our Strikers captain, Suzie Bates, about the team making a stand against racism.

Initially, I was thinking we could take a knee just for the first round of matches, but Suzie said: ‘No, we don’t think that’s going to work, we want to do it throughout the tournament, because we don’t want this to be that we do it for one game and then nothing happens again. We want to do it because Black Lives Matter is important and we want to stand for something’.

Adelaide Strikers and Hobart Hurricanes players take a knee.Source:Getty Images

We have been taking a knee throughout the whole tournament and I am so pleased with the support I got from my teammates, it was really fantastic.

Sometimes I even forget and Megan Schutt will say to me: “Stafanie, don’t forget we’ve got to take a knee”.

It’s just so powerful.

I am also raising my right fist during the moment of silence that resonates with me that I am standing up for our rights.

The Strikers aren’t the only team making this statement during the WBBL, the Sydney Thunder and the Hobart Hurricanes are also taking a knee, while individual players from many other teams, including the Melbourne Stars, are doing it, too.

While I wish that all players from all eight teams competing in the WBBL this year were taking a knee, BLM is a global movement and I’m proud that cricket is helping to stamp out racism on and off the field.

The Sydney Thunder squad have been big supporters.Source:Getty Images

Originally published as‘I love how we all come together to take a knee’

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