Thursday, February 09, 2006

Peanut Galleries Worldwide

Rahul Bhattacharya weighs in with some sensible thoughts on racism in crowds as a world-wide phenomenon. Having heard comments directed at African medical students in India, I'm left in no doubt that many of the remarks directed at West Indian and South African players would be unprintable, and deserving of the same kind of condemnation directed at Australian yobs. Furthermore, Indian crowds can often just be plain abusive when it comes to their own players. Some of the foulest language I heard was at the Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi, and all of it was directed at Indian fielders. [Er, I think I might have yelled out a bit meself]. There was no alcohol being consumed that day, BTW.

I do not think things are any better in English crowds - given the large amounts of beer being consumed in the stands, or what happened after the 1983 World Cup semi-final between India and England, I don't doubt for a second that there is a lot of offensive language and behavior in the stands. And lastly, one little memory from the West Indies. When in Kingston in 1997 to watch the India-West Indies test, I strolled on down to the hotel bar in the evening for a drink. An elderly black gentleman was holding forth on how he didn't enjoy watching cricket played by "coolies".

Australian crowds are just one example of a certain intolerance found in no short measure all over the world.


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