Black Lives Matter has been trending after people across the world raised their voices in protest over racial abuse. 46-year-old George Floyd was killed when police officer Derek Chauvin shoved his knee into his neck. Chauvin held Floyd on the ground for over 6 minutes. The cold-blooded killing sparked global outrage.
Some of the athletes that have protested include LeBron James, Tiger Woods, Lewis Hamilton and Colin Kaepernick. The killing took place on May 25; but the cricketing world was largely silent over the matter till last week.
Darren Sammy Claims Racial Abuse In IPL
Former West Indian captain Darren Sammy who led his country to two ICC T20 World Cup championships in 2012 and 2016 has opened up a can of worms after he took to twitter to support Black Lives Matter and allege that he was racially abused in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Sammy claimed that when he played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013 and 2014, he was commonly referred to as ‘Kalu’. He added that his teammates would call him and Sri Lankan player Thisara Perera ‘Kalu’; which he deemed as a compliment, thinking it meant strong stallion.
Sammy says that he recently found out that the Hindi word Kalu actually means black. It only then dawned on him that his team mates were calling him and T Perera ‘black’ due to the color of their skin. Sammy was very upset on learning that he was racially abused during his time with the Sunrisers and nothing was done about it.
He has approached the ICC with his complaints and called on the cricket governing body to get their act together and do more to stomp out racism in cricket. Sammy wants the ICC to look into the matter and has also called on the cricketing community to stand up and support Black Lives Matter as well as be bold and come out and bring to light incidents of racial abuse.
Chris Gayle and Andre Russell Also Claim Racial Abuse
Most cricketers have not come out and said anything about the killing of George Floyd nor support the Black Lives Matter movement. However, fellow West Indian cricketers Chris Gayle and Andre Russell have supported Darren Sammy’s push to end racism.
The Universe Boss who travels extensively to offer his services in T20 leagues across the world claimed that racism is not just present in football like most people assume but is also very much present in cricket. Gayle claims that he gets the short end of the stick regularly because of the color of his skin and says he has faced racism.
However, Gayle did not specifically say that he has faced racism in the IPL nor has he come out and denied it.
IPL Must Take Steps To Address Racism Claims
As of this writing, the IPL has not released any statement on Darren Sammy’s remarks not has the Sunrisers Hyderabad. The ICC is also yet to comment on the matter; it is unlikely that the ICC will launch any investigation into the issue.
However, it will be up to the IPL to to address these racism claims. The IPL is a very diverse tournament bringing together players from multiple countries. The IPL franchises will have to roll out cultural-sensitivity programs to educate both young and experienced cricketers.