Sports may be a breeding ground for bigotry and racial prejudice but it has also the potential to promote social cohesiveness and fundamental values like mutual respect, and tolerance. Lately, the anti-racism movement has become a hot topic in cricket following English cricketer Ollie Robinson's international suspension for racist remarks in the past. Cricket has a low prevalence of racist and discriminatory behavior when compared to other sports though there have been several instances of racialism in the gentleman's game. That's why the ICC is committed to eradicating racism in cricket. The five racist incidents in cricket are discussed in this article.
Five Notable Racist Incidents in Cricket
The racist comments of Mark Vermeulen
In 2015, Zimbabwe Cricket Board banned batsman Mark Vermeulen from all cricket. It was reported that Vermeulen had engaged in a racist rampage on social media and he referred to black Zimbabweans as "apes" in one of his remarks. He allegedly said such things to Zimbabwe cricketer Prosper Utseya'. Later, Vermeulen apologized to Utsaya and the general public. However, the Zimbabwe Cricket Board did not lift the ban imposed on him.
West Indies vs Australia series (1975/1976)
The West Indies cricket team visited Australia in the 1975-1976 cricket season. During the tour, it is reported that Australian cricketers made racial remarks towards West Indian cricketers both on and off the field. Not only the players but also the Australian crowd hurled racial insults towards the West Indian cricketers. Later on, a fair bit of writing was done on the subject.
The Osama Remark
England all-rounder Moeen Ali stated in his autobiography that an Australian cricketer referred to him as "Osama" during the first Test of the 2015 Ashes series. As a Muslim cricketer with a beard, he could not take such a comment well. Because Moeen Ali believes he has been labeled a terrorist by the remark "Take that, Osama." Later, the Australian Cricket Board looked into the allegation and found no truth in it.
The Terrorist Remark
Former Australian cricketer Dean Jones worked as a commentator for the Test series between South Africa and Sri Lanka in 2006. Dean Jones referred to South African cricketer HashimAmla as a terrorist during his commentary of a match. He was heard saying "the terrorist has got another wicket" after Amla grabbed the catch to remove Kumar Sangakkara. Jones was later fired by Ten Sports as a result of the incident.
The 'Monkeygate' scandal
Spinner Harbhajan Singh and batsman Andrew Symonds had a spat in the second Test between India and Australia in Sydney in 2006. Harbhajan Singh referred to Symonds as 'Monkey' at one point during the argument. Although Harbhajan was initially banned for three matches by the ICC match referee, the two teams' players eventually resolved the matter among themselves. The ICC deducted 50% of Harbhajan's match fee when a second investigation revealed no such truth of the allegations.
The five racist incidents listed above are really a dark chapter in cricket's history. So, everyone must work together to remove racism from cricket. What exactly is racism? What type of societal impact may this sort of conduct and attitude have? These issues need to be discussed. Players in age-level cricket must be disciplined and made aware of corruption and racism. These cricketers will refrain from this kind of behavior when they play senior-level cricket in the future.