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‘Teammates are happy, it must be something fun’ – Sammy believed derogatory term was something funny

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Daren Sammy has released an open statement, imploring his Sunrisers Hyderabad teammates, who called him ‘k***’, a word with racist undertones, to reach out to him and clear the air.

Sammy, who played for the IPL side in the first half of the 2010s, recently found out the meaning of the word, and has since taken to social media, opening up on the anger and sense of injustice.

He has now asked those teammates, in a video statement, to reach out to him and explain their actions. “I was listening to Hasan Minhaj [an Indian-American comedian] talking about how people of his culture view or describe black people. Now that doesn’t apply to everybody. But I’ll say this because of something I experienced.

“I was angry after listening to him describing a word that they used to describe black people, which he was saying is not in a good way. It was degrading. Instantly, I remember, when I played for Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2013 and 2014, I was being called the exact same word that he described that was degrading to us black people.

“I instantly got very angry about it, knowing now what that word meant. I will be messaging those people. You guys know who you are. I must admit, at the time in which I was being called that, I did not know what it meant. I thought it meant ‘strong stallion’ or whatever it is, and I saw no problems with it. Because I was ignorant to the fact that I did not know what it meant, I thought it was something else that was uplifting.

“But every time I was called it – it was me and Thisara Perera – there was always laughter in the moment. So me being a team man, I thought, ‘Teammates are happy, it must be something funny’. But you can understand my frustration and my anger when it was pointed out to me that it wasn’t funny at all. It was degrading.”

View this post on Instagram

So recently I discovered a word that I was being called was not what it actually meant I need some answers. So before I start calling out names I need these individuals to reach out and please tell me there’s another meaning to that word and when I was being called it,it was all in love. #blackandproud #blackandconfident #clarasboy #saynotoracism #stopracism #cricketer #stlucia

A post shared by daren (@darensammy88) on

Sammy said he will be texting those teammates and also implored them to reach out to him. “So [I’ll be] texting you guys, asking you guys when you repeatedly called me that word over and over again, to the point that I was even saying that’s my name … did you all mean it in any way, shape or form as a degrading word to me?

“Because that’s very important. Like I said, I’ve great memories in all the dressing rooms I’ve been in. As a T20 player, as a leader in the dressing room, as a captain, I’ve always been one to build up the relationship or team – not bring it down. All those who used to call me that. You guys know yourselves. Some of you have my number, you’ve got me on Instagram, on Twitter or whatever … reach out to me. Let’s have a conversation.

“If it’s in any way, shape or form what Minhaj said it meant, I’m very disappointed. I’ll still be angry and deserve an apology from you guys. Because I saw all of you guys as my brothers. Talk to me, reach out to me, please clear the air.”

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