Often through subtle references and sometimes in violent ways, the age-old discrimination of people on the basis of race, color, religion or any such class, racism, as we call it generally, continues to scourge all walks of society, even in this millennium.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite”
Quoting from ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ – the autobiography of great Nelson Mandela, the former U.S. president Barack Obama was reacting to violent racist attacks that rocked the town of Charlottesville recently.
Intentional, friendly banter, or supposedly harmless humor, whatever you call it, the game of cricket too has had its fair share of racist controversies.
Here's a look through some of these controversies that left a bad taste on the game:
Geoffrey Boycott makes racist remarks about knighted cricketers
“Mine’s been turned down twice. I’d better black me face”
Just a few days after Obama’s tweets went viral, in another part of the world, former England batsman and BBC Test Match Special pundit Geoffrey Boycott put himself in a tight spot with racist remarks at a Q&A session, held on the sidelines of the recent day-night Test at Edgbaston between England and the Windies.
To a question on knighthood at the informal gathering, Boycott claimed the honour was handed out like “confetti” to West Indian greats, including Sir Viv Richards and Sir Curtly Ambrose, while ignoring English cricketers since it was last received by Sir Alec Bedser in 1997(Ian Botham was knighted in 2007 for services to charity), and reckoned he would have a better chance if he were black.
Probably intended to express his displeasure at this practice, the racist undertones of this remark, however, was unmissable.