Carlos Brathwaite says taking a knee is 'cosmetic' and legislative change is needed

West Indies cricketer Carlos Brathwaite
All-rounder Carlos Brathwaite has played in 88 matches for West Indies across three formats

West Indies cricketer Carlos Brathwaite says sportspeople taking a knee is "cosmetic" and legislative change is needed to combat racial inequality.

The gesture is a symbol of support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Brathwaite told Stumped athletes doing it "showed the wider world they are aware of what's happening in society".

He added: "Taking a knee in isolation or wearing a badge in isolation is not enough, it is the reprogramming and reconfiguring of the mindset."

The Black Lives Matter movement has led to global protests against racism and police brutality following the death in the United States of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, while a police officer knelt on his neck.

Footballers have taken a knee before matches since the resumption of the English season.

England and West Indies players will wear a Black Lives Matter logo on their shirts for the forthcoming Test series.

Asked if they should also take a knee, Brathwaite said: "For me it's just cosmetic - that may ruffle a few feathers.

"The biggest change needs to be legislative and needs to be the reprogramming of the wider society.

"Why is it that we go on a plane and see someone with a massive beard and we think, terrorist? When we see a black guy in the supermarket we automatically think he will shoplift, and as a result have the guards trail him?

"That is a bigger discussion - how we reprogram our mindsets around those sorts of thoughts is a bigger discussion than just taking a knee."

Brathwaite, 31, also welcomed the emergence of England seamer Jofra Archer.

Barbados-born Archer bowled the crucial super-over as England beat New Zealand to win the World Cup last summer.

"There's been talk in the media about the marginalisation of the black cricketer in England," said Brathwaite, who also hails from Barbados.

"A black player spearheaded that charge and was there at the most important moment to execute and bring the cup home.

"His success now provides a pathway for another Jofra Archer and another Jofra Archer."

Brathwaite will be part of the commentary team, offering expert analysis alongside Sir Alastair Cook, as BBC Two broadcasts highlights from every Test and one-day-international this summer, starting with the three-Test series against West Indies.

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