Sammy drops apology call
Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has revealed that an IPL teammate, who addressed him with a racist nickname, has reached out to assure him that he was “operating from a place of love” and the two-time T20 World Cup-winning captain no longer wants an apology for what happened.
Sammy 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.
“I’m please to say that I’ve had a really interesting conversation with one of the guys and we are looking at ways to educate rather than focusing on the negatives. My brother reassured me that he operated from a place of love and I believe him,” Sammy tweeted.
“In hindsight, asking for apology, I shouldn’t have even done that. If me and my teammates have done something not intentionally, but now I realise that could be deemed or termed as something that could be hurtful to a teammate of mine,” he later told a cricket-specific website.
He, however, did not reveal the name of the player he is in touch with. “Don’t get me wrong I’m not condoning what was done/ said. I’m saying let’s use this opportunity to educate each other so it doesn’t happen again. One can only apologise if he/she feels wrong about something. I’m confident and proud to be black. That will never change,” Sammy said.
Sammy’s allegation of being addressed with a racist a nickname was lent credence by an old social media post of his then SRH teammate Ishant Sharma in which ‘Kalu’ was used to identify the West Indian in a group photograph.
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.
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.
“But to make it a subject of discussion — like match-fixing and all these things are a subject that is given special attention.”