Not posted anything for a while so it’s a bit of a shame that this is something of a rant aimed at another cricket blogger. Sorry about that. Will Photoshop Michael Vaughan as Wonder Woman later this week to make up for it.*
Anyway, I’ve just read an outrageous post over at Cricket 24×7. I’m shaking my head in disbelief at what Jagadish has written regarding the recent comments made by Matthew Hayden about Harbhajan Singh.
Just in case you’ve missed what Hayden said, here’s a quote from the BBC website:
“It’s been a bit of a long battle with Harbhajan. The first time I ever met him he was the same little obnoxious weed that he is now,” stated Hayden.
He also said in the same radio interview that he’d like to get in a boxing ring with Ishant Sharma so I’m guessing that he was enjoying playing up to his bully boy role that he seems to have cultivated over the last few years (i.e. ever since he actually started to consistently score runs for Australia). The barrel chested Aussie opener is built like a brick shit house so I guess he feels he can get away with saying what he wants.
Personally I don’t like Matthew Hayden for all the reasons above (not least of all that consistent run scoring thing, particularly against England) but what has really got my goat is that Jagadish suggests that this comment is “obviously a case of racial stereotyping” and that it “very clearly qualifies as a racist statement”.
Obnoxious implies Harbhajan is annoying, offensive or disgustingly objectionable. Little refers to Harbhajan being smaller-built in comparison to Hayden (and the rest of his teammates). This is obviously a case of racial stereotyping, and hence vilification (just like Tony Greig’s “Those little Shri Lonkans” chant). Weed again refers to Harbhajan being obnoxious and detrimental.
Clearly this is a case of offensive and seriously insulting language. If someone tells me I’m a weed, I’d be pretty offended and feel insulted about it, since it implies that I shouldn’t be existing. Add in the ‘little’ part and this very clearly qualifies as a racist remark.
You can read the full article here but I genuinely can’t see how anyone can possibly believe that calling someone a “little weed” is in any way racially motivated. Maybe this is just a reaction to the recent Test and one day series and all of the associated..ahem..monkey business that went on there. Whatever the reasons, I actually found it quite sad that Jagadish has played the race card here.
What Hayden said wasn’t racist. It was just stupid.
* Or maybe I won’t