Former West Indies cricketer, Michael Holding, has won the William Hill 2021 Sports Book of the Year Award for his ‘Why We Kneel, How We Rise’.

The judges have described the publication as one of the most important sports books of the modern age which ‘provides a roots analysis of black athletes facing prejudice and racism and its toll on performance and well-being’.

Holding explained: “I felt it was really important to write this book, and I hope it encourages people to educate themselves about the issues raised. I would like to thank my writing partner, Ed Hawkins, Simon & Schuster and all the great sports stars who contributed to the book.” 

I am proud and honoured to receive the iconic William Hill award, and I hope this will help us spread the message of ‘say no to racism’ and the importance of learning more about this important topic.” 

Last year, Holding stopped the sporting world in its tracks with his eloquent and passionate conversation with Ebony Rainford-Brent on Sky Sports TV about his experience of racism and his views on the ‘Black Lives Matters’ movement.

Holding went on to share that the public reaction to his words about racism compelled him to write “Why We Kneel, How We Rise” with the help of journalist Ed Hawkins.

Alyson Rudd, Chair of Judges, commented: “Given everything that has happened in the world over the last 18 months, I am proud the standard of the entries was as strong as ever. Michael’s book was very well written, and brilliantly and evocatively highlights the importance of education in defeating one of society’s biggest issues.”

The Book shares the experience of this generation’s greatest black athletes, including Usain Bolt, Thierry Henry, Michael Johnson and Naomi Osaka, who told their stories and views on one of the biggest ills in society.  

Through all the pain outlined in the book, Holding delivers a message of hope and a clear pathway for change in our world. 

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