London, December 16: West Indies great Michael Holding, who came out in support of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, has been awarded the Freedom of the City of London along with former England women's cricketer Ebony Rainford-Brent for standing up against racism.
The Freedom of the City of London is a recognition awarded to people who have achieved success, and recognition in their field.
"It is entirely right to call out prejudice in all its forms, and Ebony and Michael have taken a courageous stand in speaking out against racism in this country," William Russell, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, was quoted as saying by Sky Sports on Tuesday (December 15).
"The granting of the Freedom of the City of London recognises how they have added their voices to the growing global movement to stamp out racism."
Holding had delivered a powerful message against racism during the recent England-West Indies series, saying that blacks have been dehumanised and their accomplishments wiped off from a history "written by people who do the harm."
Rainford-Brent was the first black woman to play for England. She played 22 ODIs and seven T20 internationals between 2001 and 2010.
BLM gained momentum in the wake of African-American George Floyd's death at the hands of a white police officer in the USA in May.
Holding had also given an emotional account of the racism faced by his parents, while ex-England Women international Rainford-Brent explained how being "drip-fed" comments about her ethnicity caused her to question her future in cricket.
The 66-year-old Holding, who is retiring from commentary soon, felt that over the years, people have been brainwashed by an education system that portrayed black race negatively and refused to acknowledge its contribution to humanity's advancement.