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Usman Khawaja stopped from wearing shoes with “All lives are equal” message

CricketUsman Khawaja stopped from wearing shoes with "All lives are equal" message

Srinagar: ICC has stopped Australia opener Usman Khawaja from wearing his shoes with the messages of “All lives are equal”, during first Test vs Pakistan in Perth.

Cricket Australia has told Khawaja that it voilates the ICC Rules and he shouldnt go ahead with it. Later Khawaja posted a video terming the issue a disappointing one.

Khawaja on Tuesday was seen wearing shoes sporting the slogans “Freedom is a human right” and “All lives are equal” at the Australia team’s main training session and planned to wear them on opening day of the Test.

Late on Wednesday Cricket Australia declared that 36-year-old would be expected to “uphold” the rules banning the display of personal messages.

“We support the right of our players to express personal opinions,” a CA statement said.

“But the ICC has rules in place which prohibit the display of personal messages which we expect the players to uphold.”

Khawaja took to his social media accounts on Wednesday evening to respond to the ban, declaring he will fight the ruling and emotionally explaining why it was not a political statement.

“I’ve noticed what I’ve written on my shoes has caused a little bit of a stir. I won’t say much, I don’t need to,” he said.

“But what I do want is for everyone who did get offended, somehow, is to ask yourself these questions.

“Is freedom not for everyone? Are all lives not equal?

“To me personally, it doesn’t matter what race, religion or culture you are.

“Let’s be honest about it. If me saying all lives are equal as a resulted people being offended, to the point where they’re calling me up, and telling me, well isn’t that the bigger problem?

“These people obviously don’t believe in what I’ve written. It’s not just a handful of people. You’d be shocked about how many feel this way.

“What I’ve written on my shoes isn’t political. I’m not taking sides. Human life to me is equal. One Jewish life is equal to one Muslim life is equal to one Hindu life and so on. I’m just speaking up for those who don’t have a voice.

“This is close to my heart. When I see thousands of innocent children dying, without any repercussions, or remorse I imagined my two girls. What if this was them?

“No one chooses where they’re born. And then I see the world turn their backs on them. My heart can’t take it.

“I already feel my life wasn’t equal to others when I was growing up. But luckily for me, I never lived in a world where that lack of equality was life or death.

“The ICC have told me that I can’t wear my shoes on field because they believe it’s a political statement under their guidelines. I don’t believe it is so – it’s a humanitarian appeal.

“I will respect their view and decision but I will fight it and seek to gain approval.

“Freedom is a human right. And all lives are equal. I will never stop believing that, whether you agree with me or not.”

Australian captain Pat Cummins backed Khawaja’s right to protest, and the message itself.

“On his shoes were, ‘All Lives Are Equal’. I don’t think that’s very divisive. I don’t think anyone can really have too many complaints about that.

“Everyone in our team has their own individual thoughts, and I love that. You want everyone to being their own individual self to the team.

“What was on the shoes, ‘All Lives Are Equal’. I support that.”

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