Former West Indies captain says teammates called him derogatory term
Former West Indies captain Daren Sammy has called for his Indian Premier League teammates to clear the air and apologise over alleged racist slurs during 2013-14.
Sammy said he recently found about the meaning of a “degrading” name he said was often directed at him by his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates in the Twenty20 tournament.
“I was listening to Hasan Minhaj (Indian-American comedian) talking about how some of the people in his culture view or describe black people,” Sammy wrote on Instagram on Monday.
He wrote in an earlier post Sunday that the word was ‘kalu’ — which means black man in Hindi — but did not specify which players used it.
“I was angry after listening to him describing a word that they use to describe black people, which he was saying is not in a good way… and it was degrading,” he said. “Instantly I remembered when I played for Sunrisers in 2013 and 2014, I was being called the exact same word he described that was degrading to us black people.”
Sammy said he would get in touch with those players.
“Because if it was in any way, shape or form what Minhaj said it meant, I’m very disappointed and I’d still be angry and deserve an apology from you guys,” he said.
Top athletes including cricketers have spoken out against racism in sport after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in police custody in Minneapolis.
Sunrisers declined to comment on Sammy’s allegations when contacted by AFP.
But Sammy’s IPL teammate Irfan Pathan told AFP he was not aware that the word was uttered at the West Indian.
“I did not see or hear any such issue coming to light. See, it would have been a big issue had such a thing occurred and he was our captain as well,” Pathan told AFP.
Pathan acknowledged such words were used within the wider community in India.
“Racism is there in the world… and we should address it and set it right,” he said.
Indian spinner Parvez Rasool, who also played with Sammy at Sunrisers, said the 36-year-old should name the players involved.
“Personally I did not notice anybody calling Sammy by any name. He (Sammy) is a very good and jovial guy,” Rasool told AFP. “And if he has been subject to racial taunts then he should tell the names of the players.”
IPL chairman Brijesh Patel told AFP the league has “zero tolerance” for racism of any kind.
Sammy said the word was also used to describe Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera.
“I assumed it meant something else that was uplifting. But every time I was called it, it was me and Thisara, there was always laughter in the moment,” he wrote. “But you could understand my frustration and my anger when it was pointed out to me that it wasn’t funny at all.”