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Geoffrey Boycott makes racist comments, apologizes later

The 76-year-old said he might have to "darken his face" to be honoured with knighthood by the English crown.


England v Sri Lanka: 1st Investec Test - Day Three
Boycott has applied for knighthood twice, has been turned down both times

What's the story?

Geoffrey Boycott took to Twitter to apologise for the racist comments that he made in a question-and-answer session at a VIP lunch during the day-night Test between England and West Indies.

The former English batsman has applied for knighthood twice, but has been turned down each time. Multiple West Indian cricketers have been knighted by the English crown so far.

When asked about his failure to acquire the title, Boycott said, "Mine's been turned down twice. I'd better black me face."

He also claimed that the title is given like "confetti" to West Indian cricketers. However, he did not mention any particular name. His comments made way for a huge wave of outrage throughout social media, and that's when the former star posted a series of tweets, stating that he was "clearly wrong".

In case you didn't know...

Boycott played for the England Cricket Team for a period from 1964 to 1982, amassing 8114 Test runs at an average of 47.72. He scored 22 centuries and 42 half-centuries in his 18 years in international cricket.

He has always been an outspoken personality, sometimes overly so, leading to the stream of controveries that keep finding him regularly.

The details

The West Indian cricketers who have been knighted include big names like Sir Curtly Ambrose, Sir Gary Sobers and Sir Vivian Richards.

The last England cricketer to be knighted was Sir Ian Botham, whose name was added to the New Years Honours List in 2007.

Boycott made the racist statement before an audience that also included several black guests who had paid close to £300 to be present at the event.

What's next?

Although Boycott has apologised unreservedly, it will take time for people to get over his words. He will definitely face backlash due to hurt sentiments for a few more days at the very least.

Since the England batting great does not have a choice in the matter anymore, he will have to take it on the chin and take it in his stride.

Author's take

While it was admirable of the 76-year-old to admit his mistake on social media, the comment that he made still remains shockingly racist and in his own words, unacceptable. The fact that he could use such words without thinking of the consequences in a public gathering shows that racism is still far from being eradicated from world sport.

Substantial steps need to be taken by the International Cricket Council to ensure that cricket media and audiences are not privy to such comments made by international and domestic cricketers. Strict action needs to be taken in case racism is still promoted by them.

If cricket must remain a gentleman's game, it is important to make hard and fast decisions and to stick to them under all circumstances.

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