Cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have been in the public eye for the past few days now and it’s not for good reasons. They appeared on Koffee with Karan and made some ‘sexist, misogynist and racist’ remarks.
Pandya made lewd comments on the show saying, “When I lost my virginity, I came home and said, ‘Main karke aya hai aaj (I had sex today)’. At a party my parents asked me ‘acha tera wala (women) kaun sa hai [who is your interest here?] so I said yeh, yeh, yeh (pointing out women)’ and they were like ‘waah proud of you beta.”
When Karan Johar asked him the reason why he doesn’t ask for women’s names in the nightclubs Pandya boasted saying, “I like to watch and observe how they (women) move. I’m little from the black side so I need to see how they move.”
KJo asked them what happens when they both like the same girl, on one hand, Rahul replied saying they leave it up to the women whereas Pandya interrupted and exclaimed, “Nahi nahi aisa kuch nahi hai, talent pe hota hai. Jisko mila woh leke jao. It is on talent.”
People slammed Pandya on the social media after these inappropriate comments and so, Pandya issued a public apology on Twitter.
BCCI issued a notice asking both the players for an explanation within 24 hours of their remarks on the TV show.
Pandya responded by saying he was ‘sincerely regretful’ and did not mean to be disrespectful and offensive towards women.
Vinod Rai was not convinced with Pandya’s apology and suggested a two-ODI ban for both Hardik and Rahul. Rai called the players’ comments ‘very crass’ and asked them to prepare an advisory to all BCCI contracted players and support staff.
Edulji reassures that protocol will be followed as per BCCI’s rules and regulations. Edulji further said, “It is imperative that players be put under suspension till further course of action is decided for this misconduct as was done in case of (BCCI) CEO (Rahul Johri) when he was sent on leave on sexual harassment matter.”
BCCI treasurer Anirudh Chaudry called for an inquiry questioning whose permission was sought out before appearing on Koffee with Karan.
Hardik’s father implied, “ “I don’t think people should read too much into his comments. It was an entertainment show and his comments were made in a light-hearted manner.
“He was only looking to entertain the audience. So, it [his comments] should not be viewed very seriously or negatively. He is an innocent boy with a very fun-loving nature.”
Virat discouraged their opinions and said that their opinions don’t align with the opinions of the rest of the players.
BCCI declared that the sexist comments by the players are not a violation of the code of conduct.
Even though BCCI declared that the questionable comments do not fall under the Code of Conduct, Edulji recommended a suspension till further action.
Hours prior to India’s first ODI against Australia, the two players were suspended from playing any further cricket matches. BCCI released a statement saying, “In terms of Rule 41(6) of the BCCI Constitution, the players are hereby suspended with immediate effect from participating in any manner whatsoever in any match or function or event or activity that is authorized, organized, sanctioned, recognized or supported in any way by the BCCI, the ICC or any State Association, until final adjudication of the matter.”
Vinod Rai proposed a quick inquiry against the objectionable comments of the two cricketers but Diana cautioned Rai of the inquiry mistaken as a ‘cover-up’. Edulji also objected Johri’s role in the matter who was himself sent on leave for sexual harassment allegations.
BCCI replaces Pandya and Rahul for India’s Australia and New Zealand tours with Vijay Shankar and Shubman Gill.
Union Minister and BJP MP, Babul Supriyo criticised BCCI Committee of Administrator, Diana Edulji for trying to destroy Pandya and Rahul’s careers. Supriyo quoted on Twitter saying, “With due & utter respect to Diana Edulji & her contribution to Indian cricket, May I say that her thinking has got ‘fossil’ to contemplate such extreme steps. What Hardik said is deplorable but there has to be some prudence in the way such senior minds handle the young ones (sic),”
“There is ‘Thick’ line between reprimanding someone and destroying them !! My plea to these seniors : please behave your ages gentlemen & ladies.. Rest my case (sic).”