A handful of Aussie spectators have been ejected from the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday after allegedly hurling racist abuse at the Indian team.
Indian bowler Mohammed Siraj complained that six members of the crowd shouted racist comments at him during the third test match between Australia and India.
After speaking with Indian captain Ajinkya Rahane, Aussie captain Tim Paine, and umpires Paul Reiffel and Paul Wilson, the six Aussie spectators were quickly escorted out of the stadium by police.
The incident follows similar allegations a day earlier from fellow Indian bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who also complained of copping racist abuse.
“Cricket Australia condemns in the strongest terms possible all discriminatory behaviour,” Cricket Australia’s head of integrity and security Sean Carroll said in a statement
“If you engage in racist abuse, you are not welcome in Australian cricket.”
Cricketers and commentators in both India and Australia were quick to call out the disgusting incident.
Very unfortunate to see what’s happening at SCG. There is no place for this rubbish. Never understood the need to yell abuse at players on a sporting field.. If you’re not here to watch the game and can’t be respectful, then pls don’t come and spoil the atmosphere. #AUSvIND
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 10, 2021
I personally have heard many things on the field while playing in Australia about Me My religion My colour and much more..This isn’t the first time the crowd is doing this nonsense..How do u stop them ?? #AUSvIND
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) January 10, 2021
Unacceptable behaviour there is no place for racism, I hope this is dealt in the most severe way. #AUSvIND
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) January 10, 2021
There’s seriously no place for this rubbish. Never understand the need to yell abuse at players on a sporting field.. let alone anything like this to India. If you’re not here to watch the cricket, and can’t be respectful, get OUT. #AUSvIND
— Trent Copeland (@copes9) January 10, 2021
So it appears that some of the select few people able to go to the cricket are celebrating their good fortune by shouting racial abuse at the Indian players. Absolutely great stuff, Sydney. #AUSvIND
— Matt Bevan ???? (@MatthewBevan) January 10, 2021
As I said this morning, anyone who racially abuses a player, or other fans, should be banned for life – and from all sporting venues. They are a scourge on our game and on society. It's beyond disgusting. And alcohol is no excuse. #AUSvIND
— Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) January 10, 2021
Mohammed Siraj’s father died from a lung condition in November. Siraj missed the funeral to stay on this tour and broke through for a Test debut on Boxing Day. A monumental sacrifice, and it would be so disappointing to have that achievement soured by racism at the SCG. #AUSvIND
— Sam Landsberger ???? (@SamLandsberger) January 10, 2021
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, spectators who sat near the six men said they made comments such as, “Welcome to Sydney, Siraj”, and also referred to him as “Shiraz”.
While at least one Indian spectator told the Herald he wasn’t sure why the men were kicked out for their comments, it’s clear both the Indian and Aussie cricket teams are united in calling out whatever the comments made against the Indian players were.
On top of that, what might sound innocuous to a spectator could have a more more sever impact for someone on field, especially considering Australia’s shameful history racial harassment in sports.
“Once those responsible are identified, CA will take the strongest measures possible under our anti-harassment code, including lengthy bans, further sanctions and referral to NSW Police,” Carroll added.
“As series hosts, we unreservedly apologise to our friends in the Indian cricket team and assure them we will prosecute the matter to its fullest extent.”
The SCG is currently operating at a quarter of its usual capacity due to coronavirus restrictions. The fact that some of those lucky enough to even get tickets have been accused of racism just sucks.