Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy alleged that he was at the receiving end of a racial slur, “kalu”, while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.
“I just learnt what that ‘kalu’ meant when I played for Sunrisers in the IPL. They call me and Perera by that name. I thought it meant strong Stallion. My previous post tells me something different and I’m angry,” Sammy posted on Instagram on Saturday.
His earlier post read: “Oh so that’s what that meant when they called me and @tp_perera kalu in India when we played for Sunrisers. I just thought they were calling me strong black man… I’m more piss (sic) now.”
Sammy has already taken his protest to the International Cricket Council (ICC), urging the game’s global body to open its eyes and speak up against racism. Sammy is probably the first cricketer to put the ICC in the line of fire, as the #BlackLivesMatter campaign gathers steam by the day.
“@ICC and all the other boards are you guys not seeing what’s happening to ppl like me? Are you not gonna speak against the social injustice against my kind. This is not only about America. This happens everyday #BlackLivesMatter now is not the time to be silent. I wanna hear u,” Sammy, who played 38 Tests, 126 ODIs and 68 T20 Internationals, posted on Twitter.
Sammy’s follow-up tweet said: “For too long black people have suffered. I’m all the way in St Lucia and I’m frustrated If you see me as a teammate then you see #GeorgeFloyd Can you be part of the change by showing your support. #BlackLivesMatter”. Sammy posted his tweets on June 2.
George Floyd, a 46-year-old African-American, died on May 25 in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white policeman, knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. The #BlackLivesMatter protest exploded in America after that incident. A lot of sportspersons, including cricketers from all over the world, have caught the sound of explosion and lent their support to the protest.
Chris Gayle, too, has raised his voice against racism in cricket. “I have travelled the globe and experience racial remarks towards me because I am black, believe me, the list goes on,” Gayle wrote in his Instagram story.
On Saturday, Sachin Tendulkar quoted Nelson Mandela and posted on Twitter: “Nelson Mandela once said, ‘Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to unite the world in a way that little else does.’ Wise words.”
The ICC, on its part, maintained that they have zero tolerance towards racism or homophobia, and the offenders could even be punished with a life ban.
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