Ex-West Indies captain says faced racism during India IPL stint

Cricketer says his Hyderabad Sunrisers team-mates called him ‘kaalu’, but he did not know what the Hindi word meant.

Former West Indies cricket captain Darren Sammy has alleged he was a victim of a racist slur used by his Indian team-mates when he played for an Indian Premier League (IPL) team in 2013-14.

In a video that Sammy, 36, posted on social media on Tuesday, he said his Hyderabad Sunrisers team-mates used to call him “kaalu”, Hindi slang for black, but he did not know what the word meant.


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Sammy said some unnamed Sunrisers team-mates would call him “kaalu” and he only became aware of its racial connotations after watching a TV show that discussed the issue.

“I was listening to [Indian-American comedian] Hasan Minhaj talking about how some of the people in his culture view or describe black people,” Sammy said on Instagram.

So recently I discovered a word that I was being called was not what it actually meant I need some answers. So before I start calling out names I need these individuals to reach out and please tell me there’s another meaning to that word and when I was being called it,it was all in love. #blackandproud #blackandconfident #clarasboy #saynotoracism #stopracism #cricketer #stlucia

A post shared by daren (@darensammy88) onJun 8, 2020 at 1:18pm PDT

“… I was angry after listening to him describing a word that they use to describe black people, which he was saying is not in a good way … and it was degrading,” he said.

“Instantly, I remembered when I played for Sunrisers in 2013 and 2014, I was being called the exact same word he described that was degrading to us black people.”

Sammy’s outrage comes in the middle of raging global protests against the killing of George Floyd, a black man, in the United States, late last month.

Several elite athletes have spoken out about racism in sport and society after Floyd’s death in police custody in Minneapolis city.

In a tweet on Tuesday, former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan said, “Racism is not restricted to the colour of the skin. Not allowing to buy a home in a society because you have a different faith is a part of racism too.”

Pathan, a Muslim from India’s Gujarat state, was referring to many from the community denied accommodation by the landlords in Indian cities for their religion.

“So much more to your story,” tweeted Sammy’s former West Indian team-mate, Chris Gayle – also a big IPL star in India when he played.

Sunrisers Hyderabad declined to comment when contacted by the Reuters news agency.

Meanwhile, Indian media reports featured a 2014 Instagram post by former Indian cricketer Ishant Sharma, in which the caption of his photo with Sammy purportedly described the West Indian player as “kaluu”, using a different spelling for “kaalu”.

View this post on Instagram

Me, bhuvi, kaluu and gun sunrisers

A post shared by Ishant Sharma (@ishant.sharma29) on

Me, bhuvi, kaluu and gun sunrisers

A post shared by Ishant Sharma (@ishant.sharma29) onMay 14, 2014 at 9:18am PDT

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