Harbhajan Singh in a Zidane Mess

So Im kind of amazed how much press Harbhajan Singh is getting for his, admittedly, terrible use of words. Racism is racism, but whoa, the drama? Isnt that left to the world of football soccer? (Remember the Zidane episode in the 2006 world cup final?) I for one did not realize how incredibly significant cricket is in the world of well, in the world. NowIm captivated.harbhajan_singh.jpg

Harbhajan Singh was banned for making a racist remark during Indias tempestuous defeat to Australia in the second TestAustralia‘s players had claimed that Harbhajan called Australia‘s Andrew Symonds a “monkey” during an on-field incidentAll-rounder Symonds, 32, is the only non-white player in the Australian side. [BBC]

The Indian team felt they were victims of two injustices, the first being the umpiring (which cost them the game) and then the second being a ruling from the referee, Mike Procter, which could cost Harbhajan Singhs participation in the rest of the games series. (Please excuse my lack of correct Cricket verbiage).

Clearly, calling another player a monkey isnt cool, especially when this same player experienced taunts from the crowd when he toured India last October. But without actual evidence, Indians are calling the ruling against Harbhajan blatantly false.

Many in the Australia-based Indian diaspora have come forward claiming that Harbhajan is not guilty of a racist slur – and that the controversy is the product of a cultural misunderstanding”Considering that the Monkey God is one of the revered idols of Hindu mythology and worshipped by millions, it’s surprising it was considered a racist term,” said Raj Natarajan, the president of the Sydney-based United Indian Association.

Recent news updates suggest the tour will most likely go on and therefore, so will the finger-pointing.


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6 Responses to “Harbhajan Singh in a Zidane Mess”

  1. Anandica says:

    There has always been much racism in the industry of sports, and cricket is known as one of the worst for blatant racism and unfair play. Many people are disappointed at the decision to ban Harbhajan, especially considering the lack of evidence, and hoping for a justifiable decision before he misses too many games. On a side-note, one positive thing that I can see from this saga is that more people are becoming aware of international sports and the names of international sportsmen.

  2. Anandica says:

    There has always been much racism in the industry of sports, and cricket is known as one of the worst for blatant racism and unfair play. Many people are disappointed at the decision to ban Harbhajan, especially considering the lack of evidence, and hoping for a justifiable decision before he misses too many games. On a side-note, one positive thing that I can see from this saga is that more people are becoming aware of international sports and the names of international sportsmen.

  3. Maestro says:

    I have been following this issue closely and find the response from each side to have been interesting. Ive studied race relations in Australia and can say that Australian's should be hesitant about finger pointing. Race tensions are solidly formed in the country and progress to overcome these issues has been slow to develop. So what was interesting to me, was when this story came out, much (not all) of the response was in support of Harbhajan rather than in defense of their own. It may be no indication to potential progress but it could mean the country is paying more attention to their internal actions for once. Funnily, I don't think they knew how to react. For them, racism has historically been whites against another race and not minority races against each other.

    Thanks for posting, Sundari. Keep working on the cricket lingo :)

  4. Maestro says:

    I have been following this issue closely and find the response from each side to have been interesting. Ive studied race relations in Australia and can say that Australian’s should be hesitant about finger pointing. Race tensions are solidly formed in the country and progress to overcome these issues has been slow to develop. So what was interesting to me, was when this story came out, much (not all) of the response was in support of Harbhajan rather than in defense of their own. It may be no indication to potential progress but it could mean the country is paying more attention to their internal actions for once. Funnily, I don’t think they knew how to react. For them, racism has historically been whites against another race and not minority races against each other.

    Thanks for posting, Sundari. Keep working on the cricket lingo :)

  5. Sundari says:

    Maestro, interesting comments. Although it's no secret that racism is embedded in Australian society (as it also is in many European countries), racism is still racism even if it comes from a minority. Harbhajan was probably provoked to saying what he did (similar to how Zidane was apparently provoked), but do we have to stoop to that level? If he said what he said, i doubt it was in reference to a deity, right? But i also doubt it stemmed from nothing, so i think it was only right that Australia didn't suddenly become righteous and judgemental.

    It's also interesting to me that when sports are so global and international as soccer and cricket, you'd think there would be much more understanding and tolerance involved. And yet, it's actually the opposite. Or perhaps it just comes down to national pride, something that people seem to feel very strongly about?

  6. Sundari says:

    Maestro, interesting comments. Although it’s no secret that racism is embedded in Australian society (as it also is in many European countries), racism is still racism even if it comes from a minority. Harbhajan was probably provoked to saying what he did (similar to how Zidane was apparently provoked), but do we have to stoop to that level? If he said what he said, i doubt it was in reference to a deity, right? But i also doubt it stemmed from nothing, so i think it was only right that Australia didn’t suddenly become righteous and judgemental.

    It’s also interesting to me that when sports are so global and international as soccer and cricket, you’d think there would be much more understanding and tolerance involved. And yet, it’s actually the opposite. Or perhaps it just comes down to national pride, something that people seem to feel very strongly about?