June 9, 2020 / 1:29 PM / a month ago

Sammy to confront ex-Sunrisers team mates on potentially racist language

(Reuters) - Former West Indies captain Daren Sammy has sought clarification from his former Sunrisers Hyderabad team mates over potentially racist language directed at him when he was part of the Indian Premier League franchise from 2013-14.

Sammy said he did not know the meaning of a Hindi word that some unnamed Sunrisers team mates would call him and 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.

“... 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.

“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.

“I will be messaging those people... Because if it was in any way, shape or form what Minhaj said it meant, I’m very disappointed and I’d still be angry and deserve an apology from you guys.”

Several elite athletes have spoken out about racism in sport and society after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in police custody in Minneapolis.

Sammy said the word was also used to describe Sri Lankan team mate Thisara Perera.

“I assumed it meant something else that was uplifting. But every time I was called it, it was me and Thisara, there was always laughter in the moment.

“... But you could understand my frustration and my anger when it was pointed out to me that it wasn’t funny at all.”

Sunrisers Hyderabad declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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