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Daley Thompson says Michael Holding ‘helped me understand’ Black Lives Matter | Athletics News

The decathlon star said he hoped the movement isn’t a “short-lived thing”

Last Updated: 29/08/20 8:23am

Daley Thompson says the Black Lives Matter movement is worth standing up for

Two-time Olympic gold medallist Daley Thompson has admitted he did not understand the Black Lives Matter movement until he heard former West Indies bowler Michael Holding explain why it mattered.

The British decathlon champion said he “fully supported” the movement, adding he would take a knee or wear a black glove while standing on the podium if he was competing now.

He told Sky News: “I think it’s brilliant that so many people are beginning to stand up against inequality.

“For me, the only real problem is you want it to be something and not just a short-lived thing.”

But he said it was not until Sky Sports commentator Holding talked about Black Lives Matter on air that he fully got to grips with what the movement really meant.

Daley Thompson says Michael Holding 'helped me understand' Black Lives Matter | Athletics News

Daley Thompson says Michael Holding 'helped me understand' Black Lives Matter | Athletics News 3:17
Former West Indies cricketer Michael Holding broke down in tears on camera while discussing the racism his parents faced in the past.

Former West Indies cricketer Michael Holding broke down in tears on camera while discussing the racism his parents faced in the past.

“Black Lives Matter is a cause worth standing up for,” said Thompson.

“I didn’t really understand Black Lives Matter until I heard Michael Holding talking about it.

“He explained it as ‘black lives are at the bottom of the pile – if black lives matter, everybody’s lives matter’.”

Holding was praised for the passionate comments he made on the first day of England’s Test match against the West Indies in Southampton last month, where players took the knee in support of Black Lives Matter.

Daley Thompson says Michael Holding 'helped me understand' Black Lives Matter | Athletics News

Daley Thompson says Michael Holding 'helped me understand' Black Lives Matter | Athletics News 4:37
Michael Holding says education is key to eradicating the problem of racism and ensuring that this becomes a moment of genuine change in society.

Michael Holding says education is key to eradicating the problem of racism and ensuring that this becomes a moment of genuine change in society.

The former West Indies cricketer broke down in tears on live TV and later explained it was because he was thinking about the racism his parents faced when they were younger.

He added: “I hope people understand exactly what I’m saying, and exactly where I’m coming from. I’m 66 years old. I have seen it, I have been through it, and I have experienced it with other people.

“It cannot continue like this – we have to understand that people are people.”

Daley Thompson says Michael Holding 'helped me understand' Black Lives Matter | Athletics News

Daley Thompson says Michael Holding 'helped me understand' Black Lives Matter | Athletics News 2:02
British rower Moe Sbihi hopes to show his support for the Black Lives Matter movement if he wins a medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

British rower Moe Sbihi hopes to show his support for the Black Lives Matter movement if he wins a medal at the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Thompson previously said in an interview with the Sunday Times magazine that he may have experienced negativity throughout his career because of his ethnicity.

He said: “I genuinely don’t recognise the old descriptions of myself that say I was arrogant or rude or difficult. I started competing before the first black person had even played football for England, so maybe subliminally some of the negativity I received was because of the colour of my skin.

Daley Thompson says Michael Holding 'helped me understand' Black Lives Matter | Athletics News

Daley Thompson says Michael Holding 'helped me understand' Black Lives Matter | Athletics News 0:38
Tom Brady says he is learning from his Bucs teammates and hopes to do everything he can to fight social injustices.

Tom Brady says he is learning from his Bucs teammates and hopes to do everything he can to fight social injustices.

“Attitudes were completely different then and in those days we were expected to be seen and not heard.”

Thompson retired from athletics in 1992 after suffering from a hamstring injury. In 2012, he was an ambassador for London’s Olympic games and has since set up his own gym in London – Daley Fitness.

‘Asher-Smith and Johnson-Thompson will be better next year’

Speaking about next year’s games in Tokyo, which were delayed due to coronavirus, he said he had high hopes for British athletics stars Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson because of their success last year.

Thompson is backing Britain's Dina Asher-Smith at next year's Tokyo Olympics

Thompson is backing Britain’s Dina Asher-Smith at next year’s Tokyo Olympics

Asher-Smith became the 200m world champion, setting a personal best and new British record of 21.88 seconds.

Johnson-Thompson also claimed glory at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, winning the heptathlon with a British record of 6981 points.

Thompson said: “The great thing about both those ladies is they had brilliant years last year and that’s given them the confidence to know that they can compete.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (right) hopes to emulate Jessica Ennis-Hill and win Olympics gold

Katarina Johnson-Thompson (right) hopes to emulate Jessica Ennis-Hill and win Olympics gold

“Now they’ve got an extra year, they’ll be better next year.”


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