Former India international Irfan Pathan has been one of the few sportspersons to have taken a vocal stand with his views on discrimination and social injustice on social media. With the anti-racism protests being held across the globe, the allrounder spoke on his twitter account about how discrimination based on religion and faith could also be termed as racism.
The post did not go down well with few social media handles who trolled him for his views.
While Pathan is one of the few Indian sportspersons to speak about such topics, he insisted that many others don’t stick their neck out simply because of the insecurity about their future if they do so.
“The bottom-line is insecurity. You are giving an example of US and UK, but there is a certain degree of security in these countries that he or she might not lose his job. He or she will continue to enjoy government benefits just like others. So if you don’t have security, and you speak out, you have more things to lose than gain,” he told Mumbai Mirror.
“In India, a commentator lost a job because a movie star tweeted that this particular person praised the opposition more than the Indian team,” he said referring to the removal of Harsha Bhogle from the IPL commentary team in 2016 following a tweet by Amitabh Bachchan.
Responding to the point of casual racist comments that cricketers face in India after former West Indies skipper Darren Sammy spoke about how he was called ‘k***u’ by his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates, Pathan said even players from South India have been targeted by fans when they played in Baroda.
However, Pathan insisted that religious hatred has not been growing on the ground despite what certain mediums are trying to project. “On the ground level, things are not that bad. Yes, there are people who indulge in that sort of work, but they are miniscule.
“There are times when the news is cooked. As far I am concerned, personally, I cross-check.
“In 2007, when we suffered an early loss in the 50-over World Cup, there was news that some angry fans threw clay at my house. But the fact was that it was a TV crew who had themselves done it and recorded it,” he added.