3 Times when Indian cricketers lashed out at racism
We have often come across cases where a lot of people have been discriminated because of their race, caste, colour and appearance. But quite a few people have come out in defence of racism and discrimination. In fact, almost a year ago, former USA President Barack Obama tweeted, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…” In fact, it was the dream of Martin Luther King Jr. to end racism. “I have a dream that one day little black boys and girls will be holding hands with little white boys and girls,” he had said.
And racism in sport is not the best thing. Quite a few years back, champion boxer Muhammad Ali had quoted, “Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.”
In recent times, we have seen quite a few cricketers being subjected to racism and that includes Indian players as well. Not only Indian players but also quite a few international cricketers have been subjected to racial discrimination. The likes of Usman Khawaja and Hashim Amla have been racially abused at some point. The Harbhajan-Symonds saga which broke out in Sydney in 2008 was also surrounding racial charges the former was accused of (though these charges were dropped later on). These are just a few incidents of racisms in our sport.
Hence, racial discrimination or racism is not new to the game of cricket. Thus, here we look at 3 Indian cricketers who have lashed out at racism. In fact, all the three highlighted incidents have taken place over the last 15 months or so.
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh accused a Jet Airways pilot for his racial comments and discrimination against an Indian passenger. This incident took place more than a year ago during the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) when Harbhajan was playing for Mumbai Indians (MI).
The Punjab off-spinner lashed out at the pilot for ‘physically assaulting a lady’ and ‘misbehaving and abusing a physically challenged man’. He took to Twitter and sent out a series of tweets expressing his displeasure and termed this incident ‘absolutely disgraceful & shameful’. He demanded for some strict to be taken and tweeted out a #proudtobeindian hashtag.
Harbhajan also criticised Jet Airways for not taking immediate action later in the media and termed the pilot’s behaviour as ‘totally racist’. Jet Airways later issued an apology note for the above incident. “Jet Airways has zero tolerance towards any action of our employees that contravene local or international laws. Additionally, we have a strict employee code of conduct which is based on the values and ethos of the airline. This is clearly mentioned in the prescribed service condition of the employees and is adequately emphasised during international training sessions,” Jet Airways quoted.