Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 26 November 2020

Darren Sammy accuses former IPL teammates of racism

Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who played alongside the St Lucia native for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013 and 2014, has found himself in the middle of the controversy

Darren Sammy, seen here playing for the Warrioris in the T10 final in Sharjah on December 02, 2018, has accused some former teammates at IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad of using a racial slur against him. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Darren Sammy, seen here playing for the Warrioris in the T10 final in Sharjah on December 02, 2018, has accused some former teammates at IPL side Sunrisers Hyderabad of using a racial slur against him. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy believes he may have been subjected to racial slurs by his teammate while playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The all-rounder took to social media to question the meaning to a nickname given to him by some of his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates in 2014.

Sammy, 36, said that his teammates would laugh every time they used the term, a play on the word “kala”, meaning black in Hindi and Urdu, but is often used as a derogatory term and a racial slur in the subcontinent.

The word and its racist usage were recently highlighted by the US-based comedian Hasan Minhaj while talking about Black Lives Matter protests.

“I have played all over the world and I have been loved by many people, I have embraced all dressing rooms where I have played, so I was listening to Hasan Minhaj as to how some of the people in his culture describe black people,” Sammy said in his video post.

He said his teammates “called [him] that word over and over again to the point that I was even saying 'that's my name'”.

Sammy did not name any former teammates but Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma, who played alongside the St Lucia native for the Sunrisers in 2013 and 2014, has found himself in the middle of the controversy.

A picture posted on Instagram by Sharma in 2014 has resurfaced depicting the pacer alongside three other members of the Sunrisers squad – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Darren Sammy and Dale Steyn – with a caption that refers to Sammy in what appears a derogatory term.

Former West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle came to the support of his former international teammate, saying: “It’s never too late to fight for the right cause or what you’ve experienced over the years!”

In his Instagram video, Sammy said he wants his former teammates to reach out to him and explain their reasons for their use of the word, and if they had meant it in “any way, shape or form" that was degrading to apologise to him.

Sammy has been a vocal supporter of the Black Lives Matter protests that are taking places in major cities across the world over the death of George Floyd who died in Minneapolis on May 25 from a white policeman kneeling on his neck for several minutes while arresting him.

Updated: June 10, 2020 05:42 PM

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