Racism in Cricket? Read the damning Aussie report

The noise coming out of the Australian cricket camp over its star Andrew Symonds being taunted by “monkey chants” during last week’s one-day international in Vadodara seems a bit over the top—when you consider the startling contents of an Australian government backed report that was released today.

Racial abuse is prevalent across the sporting world of Australia, including its cricket grounds, says the report titled ‘ What’s the Score? A survey of cultural diversity and racism in Australian sport’ that was released today by Australia’s Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC).

On Australian cricket, the report points to “racial sledging” of South African cricketers who “were referred to as kaffirs by a small section of spectators” at Perth in December 2005. It says that cricketers from Sri Lanka were “subjected to calls of ‘black c——’ at Adelaide, and adds that an ICC security official was punched by spectators in Melbourne.

A small sample of the report further states:

there was a racist outburst on international television by former Australian Test batsman Dean Jones in August 2006. Jones was sacked from his job as a television commentator after referring to South African Muslim batsman Hashim Amla as a terrorist”. Amla is a devout Muslim who wears a beard for religious reasons and has successfully negotiated with the South African team’s main sponsors, SA Breweries, not to wear the Castle Lager logo on his playing and practice gear.

Read the full report of the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission here. It surely doesn’t make for a pleasant reading about a ‘so-called’ developed nation.

Meanwhile Ratnakar Shetty, who is also the BCCI’s Chief Administrative Officer, added: “I was present in Vadodara during the match, and the noise from the crowd was deafening. I don’t understand how you could make out monkey noises from all that. What is this monkey noise, anyway? Or Mr Andrew Symonds should report to us exactly what was said to him. Then, it makes sense. But he has not done that, either.”

Well, i believe Mr Andrew Symonds has now become a Gandhian, or else, what does explain his silence and quotes of ‘let’s just move on‘? There couldn’t have been a worse time for Aussies for the report to come out. 😉

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  • JB

    1) The South African crickets who were abused in Perth were abused in the language of Afrikaan (i.e. there own supporters who now reside in Australia). Why does no one bring up South African racism (which was government policy) anymore and they are being portrayed as “victims”. Why would Australians racially abuse white South Africans anyway?
    2) The Black c**t remark was by Darren Lehmann, who apologised for the comment immediately. It was in the heat of the moment in the dressing rooms which was overheard. This was extremely disappointing, but resolved quickly and the apology accepted by the Sri Lankan crickets.
    3) Dean Jones apologised immediately and was sacked from his job.
    4) Why is Andrew Symonds being called a liar? Why do Indians appear so quick to point the finger at other’s indiscretions and so unable to look at there own?

    Anyone that has been to Australia and met the people will realise that the majority of Australians are fair minded and not racist in anyway. We can be accused of ignorance given our geographic isolation and heritage, but that is completely different.

    Why also are we talking about Australian racism, when hardly any Australians are at the Indian grounds and it is the Aussies who are being abused. The team (Symonds included) are just getting on with it and trying not to let all this affect their cricket. Which is why the Australians are winning.

  • lazybug

    JB,

    I understand what you mean. One can’t judge a country based on the behaviour of a few. But then, the report states facts…there’s no point denying it. This is the first time in my life that I have seen the aussies complaining about racist comments. Yet they have not filed an official complaint.

    As for Symonds, I think he has used it as a license to have a no-holds-barred go at the Indians when they tour down under.

  • JB

    Lazybug,

    You are right, I can’t deny it, and to do so would be denying the facts.

    I wanted to put some context around it however. There is no basis whatsoever for the South African compliant once the facts are explained. The others were unfortunate instances, all which went punished. Which goes to the real point;

    From an Aussie perspective, the fact that Symonds claims were dismissed out of hand (and implied that he is lying) simply adds fuel to the fire and is basically asking for matters to be escalated further.

    An apology would have cooled down the situation.

    Pardon the expression. But the Indians are carrying on as though their shit doesn’t stink.

  • vmminerva

    Well said, Liju. I’ve been lurking around your blog from sometime and enjoy your dashingly honest style.

    When you feel like, do come by my rambly cricket blog at vmminerva.wordpress.com.
    ~VMMinerva