Ex-West Indies cricket captain Daren Sammy has called out his former teammates at Sunrisers Hyderabad for a racist nickname days after he first spoke about being subjected to racist comments during his stint with the IPL team in 2013-14.
In an Instagram video on Monday night, Sammy said, “I was listening to Hasan Minhaj talking about how some of the people in his culture address or view black people. Now that doesn’t apply to everybody, but I say this because of something I experienced. I was angry listening to him describing a word that they use to describe black people which he was saying is not a in a good way and it was degrading. Instantly, I remember when I played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013-14, I was being called the exact same word that he described.”
In last week’s episode of his Netflix show Patriot Act, Hasan Minhaj had called out Asian-origin people in the US for their racist treatment of African Americans.
Minhaj said: “Dude, do you know what we call black people? We call them ‘kala’, it means black— not in a good way. If someone in your family is dark skinned, we clown them. We call them ‘kallu’, ‘look at kallu’.”
In his video, Sammy says during his time with the Sunrisers, he didn’t know what the word meant but when it was used “there was always laughter in the moment” and he thought it must mean something funny.
“I will be texting you guys and asking you guys, when you repeatedly called me that to the point where I was even saying ‘that’s my name’, did you all mean it in any way, shape or form as a degrading word? Because that’s very important. Like I said, I have had great memories in all the dressing rooms that I’ve been in… so all those who used to you call me with that, you guys know yourself… reach out to me, let’s have a conversation. Because if it was in any way, shape or form what Minhaj said, then I’m very disappointed and I would still be very angry and deserve an apology from you guys, because I saw all you guys as my brothers.”
Several people in the comments sent messages of support to the cricketer, agreeing that the word was a racist slur, while others defended the word saying it was commonly used.
Sammy’s comments came after his support to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ campaign around the world which was sparked by the killing of George Floyd in the US.
According to Press Trust of India, Sammy had on Saturday written: “I just learnt what that ‘kalu’ meant when I played for Sunrisers in the IPL. They call me and (Sri Lanka’s Thisara) Perera by that name. I thought it meant strong stallion. My previous post tells me something different and I’m angry.”
The post is no longer on Sammy’s Instagram page.
You can see the part of Hasan Minhaj’s show referred to by Sammy from the 5.30 mark below:
The cricketer last week urged the ICC to take serious note of racism in the sport.
Sammy, who played 38 Tests, 126 ODIs and 68 T20 Internationals, captained the West Indies to two T20 World Cup titles.
Meanwhile, his teammates from Sunrisers, former cricketers Irfan Pathan and Parvez Rasool, told indianexpress.com, that they were not aware of such incidents.
“If something like that would have happened then it would have come to notice or a team discussion would have happened on the topic. I am not aware of any such incident and he (Sammy) has to take responsibility for his comments,” Pathan said.
Rasool said, “I never noticed anything like this. Sammy was my captain for one match during the season but he never told me anything like that... As a team, we had a very healthy environment and were a happy bunch of cricketers. Whenever I spoke to him he seemed very jovial and I enjoyed my time with him.”
The IPL team and the ICC have not commented on the matter so far.
UPDATE: People have pointed out a 2014 post by Indian bowler Ishant Sharma which shows Sammy referred to as ‘kaluu’.