Former West Indian captain Darren Sammy, who led the Windies to an ICC T20 World Cup Championships wins in 2012 and 2016, has not played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for a number of years. Sammy has also not represented the West Indies for a number of years which has led many to believe that he has retired but that isn’t true.
Sammy recently caused a stir in the international cricket community when he alleged that he and some of his other mates who were black or dark skinned had been racially abused when they were playing in the IPL. Sammy claims that he and Sri Lankan team mate T Perera were subjected to racial abuse during their time with the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise.
Sammy took to Twitter to claim that in the past when his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates used to call him ‘Kalu’, he used to think that it meant they were referring to him as a strong stallion. He claims that this was the term he and T Perera were regularly labelled with and they took it in a positive sense thinking it was a compliment.
However, he recently found out that the real meaning for the word ‘Kalu’ is ‘black’. Sammy admitted that he was very upset when he found out the actual meaning of the word, and only then realized that he and T Perera were being subjected to racial abuse by teammates who he thought were complimenting him. Sammy played for the Sunrisers during 2013 and 2014.
Sammy Calls On ICC To Take More Steps To Stop Racial Abuse
The murder of African American George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota has recently caused widespread protests all across the United States as well as in other parts of the world. The 46 year old was killed by police brutality on the streets while it was filmed by locals who begged the police to not knee-choke Floyd to death.
Top professional athletes across multiple sporting leagues including the NBA, NFL and MMA communities condemned the killing of George Floyd and campaigned for ‘Black Lives Matter’.
While the global spotlight is now on the Black Lives Matter movement, Darren Sammy has felt that this is an appropriate time to highlight some of the injustices he and T Perera have suffered in the IPL. Sammy has stopped short of naming those players who used the alleged derogatory term towards him and T Perera.
Sammy tweeted “@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”
ICC and IPL Yet To Respond To Racial Abuse Remarks
The ICC and the IPL are yet to respond to the allegations made by Darren Sammy. Sammy has also called on the cricketing community to step up and show support towards the Black Lives Matter movement but there hasn’t been a great response. The main show of support came from Sammy’s fellow West Indian team mates such as all-rounder Andre Russell and Universe Boss Chris Gayle.
Gayle also tweeted claiming that he travels the world extensively to play cricket and was constantly subjected to racism because he is black. Gayle pointed out that racism wasn’t restricted to football but was also very evident in the world of cricket. He finished off by saying that because he was black, he often got the end of the stick. The IPL prides itself on the being the biggest and richest domestic T20 cricketing league in the world. Players from multiple countries come to the IPL every year and play alongside Indian players in a month and a half long tournament. As such, the IPL could play a role in educating players about cultural differences and ethical behaviour.