Former Windies skipper Darren Sammy has clarified that he does not hold any grudges against ‘brother’ Ishant Sharma and has stated that he has ‘moved on’ after having a fruitful, educational conversation with the Indian pacer. Ishant had earlier come under fire for casual racism against Sammy.
On the back of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement that broke out a few months ago, athletes started speaking out and shedding light on the discrimination they faced and one of the first cricketers to bring out his story was Windies’ Darren Sammy. The former Windies skipper took to Instagram to reveal that, on watching a Hasan Minhaj video, he learnt that a racial slur was used against him in the Sunrisers Hyderabad dressing room by a select set of players and, as it panned out, one of the perpetrators turned out to be India’s Ishant Sharma.
It came to the light of the public that Ishant and a few others had referred to Sammy as ‘kaalu’, meaning ‘black’ in Hindi, albeit in a derogatory way.
Thankfully, however, the incident did not blow up, with the duo patching up after Ishant apologized, and now, in an interview with TOI, Sammy confirmed that he does not hold any grudge against his former SRH teammate. The West Indian did, however, admit that it was important for him to clarify those comments first-hand and added that the incident started a much-needed conversation surrounding a topic of stigma.
"I don't hold any grudges. I've spoken to Ishant, I consider him like a brother, just like I did back in 2014. But as a person, if I get to know that there are certain racial slurs being used to describe me or there is a possibility of any such comments, I think it is only wise to confront and clarify," Sammy told TOI.
"To me, it seems sorted and I have decided to move on and Ishant must be moving on too. However, that episode did start a conversation about the way we look at people of colour. I think all these stirred much-needed conversations in the world of cricket. I did identify with some of such problems, and I don't regret talking about it."
Sammy was not the only West Indies player who was vocal about discrimination in sport, as his former teammate Carlos Brathwaite, too, called for legislative measures to combat racism. Sammy feels that for starters, the ICC can begin by taking racism and discrimination as seriously as corruption.
"All the emphasis that ICC puts on anti-corruption should also be put into anti-racism and players should be educated about the subject,” said the 36-year-old.
Someone who has always been vocal about the rights and wrongs, Sammy claimed that he voluntarily spoke out not just for himself, but also to serve as a voice for the voiceless.
"Nobody can make me feel that I am any less than others because of colour...Some people are not as vocal as others. So I consciously choose to be their voice and make them be heard.”