Darren Sammy, a two-time T20 World Cup-winning captain, has triggered a huge storm in the wake of the massive protests that have ensued post the killing of George Flloyd in the United States of America, something that has once shed light on the rampant racism in cricket.
Joining the Black Lives Matter campaign, Sammy alleged that during his stint in the IPL, a few of his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates used to call him and Thisara Perera as ‘Kalu’.
Sammy said that he didn’t know the racial meaning behind the word but many were left surprised that he didn’t know the meaning considering his past tweets where he has referred to himself as ‘Kalu’ and also the reprimanding of Sarfaraz Ahmed for using the exact same word against Anile Phehlukwayo last year.
Sammy, during an interview to ESPNCricfo, reckoned that he was aware that Sarfaraz was penalized for using the same word but all this while he was of the view that ‘Kalu’ meant stallion and it was only after he saw a video of Indo-American comedian Hasan Minaj that he realized the exact meaning.
“No, I knew. I knew the meaning. For me, it meant strong stallion. That’s what I understood it meant. So there was no reason for me to go back and say it was a racial or a degrading thing.,” Darren Sammy asserted.
“I heard Sarfaraz used (a) racial slur, but I did not really dive into the story. I saw it pop up, but I did not get into the details. I wasn’t aware it was that word he used back then,” Sammy said.
“I want to have a conversation with the people who used it in the dressing room”- Darren Sammy
Sarfaraz Ahmed issued a public apology in the wake of the outrage. Sammy stressed that it is all about knowing the intentions of the person behind using that word and he too would like to have a chat with his former teammates to understand their prime motive behind using that slur.
“But I know he issued an apology right after. That in itself is why I am having this conversation – whether you didn’t mean it in any way like that we need to stop. That is why I want to have a conversation with the people who used it in the dressing room. Let’s stop it for us to avoid situations like what Sarfaraz did thinking it was innocent. If it could mean anything that could be taken as degrading or insulting, you don’t use it. Full stop,” Sammy said.
Sammy, on Thursday, put out a tweet where he revealed that he has had a chat with his unnamed ex-SRH teammate, adding that he is glad to know that the person ‘operated from a place of love’.