A very interesting discussion is taking place at Wicket to Wicket on racism.
Sport is about trying your best to succeed. If you do not, never mind. At least you tried your best. Applaud your opponent and try harder next time, learning from the experiences of the previous battle.
The sportsmen in the modern era forget this and try to win at all costs. The common excuse given is â€“ sport has become more competitive, there is so much of money involved. Joey Cheek, an American speed skating champion who won gold in the 500 metre race at the Torino Olympics yesterday, donated the $25,000 he won for the refugees in Chad. Sadly, such attitudes are more exception than norm.
While sport simply meant a battle of skills earlier, it means much more today. The media attention, spectator interest, money, external pressures are all there. Players expect more. Spectators too want more in every regard. Expectations arenâ€™t always fulfilled. As a natural consequence, anger results. Anger in displayed in various ways by various people.
I was at the Eden Gardens when the semi-final between India and Sri Lanka was abandoned. Some people threw bottles and oranges. Others hurled abuses at Azhar. Abuses were also hurled at Sangita Bijlani, the actress Azhar would marry after divorcing his wife. India had lost and Azhar was the main culprit as far as the emotionally charged crowd was concerned. In such a passionate state of mind, some people felt the above actions were excusable. Others felt bringing in their racial slurs were excusable as well.
Society has a lot of evils. As cricket grows, it is harder to resist such evils. Jagmohan Dalmiya wanted to globalize cricket which is good for the game. But a level of maturity is needed to deal with the evils which globalisation tends to bring with it. Without maturity, the evils take over and the significance of sport is lost. In the recent past the cricket world has dealt with quite a few issues with immaturity â€“ The Zimbabwe issue, the ambush marketing issue.
I hope some maturity is shown to rid the game of racism or at least shrink it to its minimum.