Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy feels that any athlete should not accept degrading words to their skin colour as banter. Sammy also questioned that why should the black people adjust even after 400 years of slavery.
The two-time T20 World Cup-winning skipper had opened up about being called ‘Kalu’ — a derogatory word to describe black people — by his Sunrisers Hyderbad teammates and demanded an apology from the bunch earlier this week.
“In hindsight, asking for apology, I shouldn’t have even done that. If me and my team-mates have done something not intentionally, but now I realise that could be deemed or termed as something that could be hurtful to a team-mate of mine,” Daren Sammy was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
“Yes. And after discussion they must have action. Discussion without action is still just discussion. Action should be taken to eradicate such a thing and educate people,” Sammy added.
“I understand, but I don’t agree to that. Why must my people endure 400 years of slavery and still have to adapt? Why is it always the people of colour that have to adapt to oppression? Why is it the people of colour that always have to do something different? Why can’t the other side change and see us differently? And just not do it. So, no, you cannot use something that is degrading to the colour of my skin and tell me to take it as banter. I will never agree to that.
Sammy urged the International Cricket Council to raise awareness of the fight against racism, giving it the same attention as its anti-corruption drive.
“We have always had the anti-racism in the code of conduct of the ICC. You hear it every time it has been recited,” said Sammy.
Sammy said he has also reached out to Tom Moody, the Sunrisers Hyderabad coach, to discuss the issue.
“..I’m not going to sit down here and say, ‘this guy is a racist.’ No, that’s not me. I am not in a position to do that. But what I could do is, use this platform and the conversations that me and these individuals may have, use it as an opportunity to shed light.”
The 36-year-old said even though he is aware of the offensive meaning of the word now, he doesn’t really need an apology as he is comfortable with his identity.
“I refuse to allow any other person to make me mentally feel less than who I am. So whether I get an apology or not, it doesn’t change the mentality of how proud I am to be a black person, to be a black man. It doesn’t change,” he reasoned.