Former Indian paceman Lakshmipathy Balaji is the latest cricketer to condemn racism and spoke in detail about how he faced extreme social pressures when in school. The incident of George Llyod, a black man, in the United States at the end of May has urged people from all the fields to come forward and express their views on the same.
West Indian cricketer Darren Sammy is one of the proactive ones, having blamed his teammates in Sunrisers Hyderabad of calling him using a racial term. Other cricketers who haven’t held back in raising their voices are Chris Gayle, Michael Carberry, and Tino Best, revealing that differentiating on the grounds of colour is rampant in sports too.
Lakshmipathy Balaji claimed that in all walks of life, there is some target aimed at a person’s weakness. He went on to draw an analogy to the issue of racism to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, asking what can conceal the disease affecting people’s minds.
“At all levels be it school, college, or any industry for that matter there is a tendency among some people to target someone’s perceived weakness. A bully goes after easy targets. There are plenty of rules and regulations that seek to prevent that,” Balaji stated as quoted by India Today.
“However, until and unless people of different classes, races, and nationality recognise the seriousness of the problem – like they have in the case of Covid-19 pandemic – this can’t be solved. The fear for our lives has led to greater emphasis on social hygiene. However, which mask can hide the virus [of racism and discrimination] that is affecting our minds?” he added.
That particular phase affected me a lot psychologically: Lakshmipathy Balaji
The 38-year old remembered during his school days when he failed his seventh standard and felt embarrassed, knowing he let down his parents. Balaji emphasized that no one should be subjected to social pressures and belittling no matter what.
“I was 12-13 when I was failed in class seven. If you ask me, repeating a class at a certain age can be incredibly humiliating. I felt it acutely because of social pressures and the realisation that I had let down my parents and caused embarrassment to them. That particular phase affected me a lot psychologically.” he added.