The sporting world has recently been rocked by a number of incidents involving taunts and intolerance related to faith and race. Most notably, the ‘booing’ and the abuse of Black English footballers by Spanish fans at Madrid during a friendly. Racist chants are very common in both the Spanish and the Italian leagues unfortunately. And Cameroon’s Samuel Etoo (who plays for Barcelona) has been the victim a number of times.
Cricket has largely been free of such incidents (atleast that I know of) barring a few minor incidents mostly involving inebriated Australians.
Unfortunately, news now comes that Australian Dean Jones has been fired by Ten Sports after he called Hashim Amla a ‘terrorist’ on live television.
It turns out Amla took a catch to dismiss Kumara Sangakarra in the on going test match in Colombo and Jones was heard saying “the terrorist has got another wicket” in the background. Ten Sports had no choice but to fire him.
Dean Jones is a former test player who was very well known for his exploits in the one-day form of the game. Of course, Jones is also well known for making 210 in the famous tied-test match at Chennai. He batted through the day and was so dehydrated that he ended up in hospital. Recently ofcourse, he has been a commentator for various sports channels and was briefly in the reckoning for the position of the coach of the Indian Cricket team.
Funnily enough, this is what Dean Jones had to say when journalists caught up with him at the airport:
“Everyone needs to get away from perpetuating the myth, publicly and privately, that beards associated with the Muslim faith are somehow suspicious, and I intend to do exactly that. The irony is that I am great friends with most of the Pakistan team and they are all Muslims.”
Such taunts and insults are largely a very rare occurrence in sport and it should be kept that way. It’s going to take a lot of work on the part of the authorities to keep the black sheep out.
About Hashim Amla:
Hashim Amla is in fact the first South African of Indian descent to play for the national side. Amla captained the South African Under-19 team and in fact made his test debut versus India at Eden Gardens. Despite a very poor start to his international career, the signs are there that he is going to be around for a long time and could very well be the captain of the South African time at some point in the future.