Salman Khan has earned a reputation for saying what he has on his mind and then worrying about the consequences later. The quality can give rise to controversy but at times, it is also exactly what the doctor ordered.
Case in point being the IOA's decision to appoint Salman as the Olympics Goodwill Ambassador. The actor copped a lot of flak because he seemed like someone who really didn't understand sport. Many former Olympians also wondered why Salman was selected when there were so many other Olympic greats in the country.
The IOA's response to the controversy was to appoint a few more Olympic ambassador's including AR Rahman and Sachin Tendulkar.
Salman didn't say much at that time. In fact, he seemed to switch off. But now, in an interview with Hindustan Times, he has decided to fire back a few shots of his own.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Salman said: "Does Rahman need a state-level certificate or a national-level medal to be called a sportsperson? Aren’t all the kids or other persons, who like and follow a particular sports sportspersons? If they are, then why just pick on me?"
"The media should have done the same thing (criticised the other goodwill ambassadors) when Sachin and Rahman were roped in. Why didn’t that happen? Why did the media not give them the same kind of coverage they gave me?" he further added.
When he was asked whether the court cases gave people a reason to criticise him, he fired back a few volleys of his own.
"So, you have issues with one person, who has court cases, becoming the Olympics goodwill ambassador. There are so many big politicians who have court cases. I am ready to leave it (the ambassadorship), if you (the politicians) also leave [your posts]. There are so many people, who have [cases of] scams, corruption and even rapes, but they are still there (on important posts)," Salman told Hindustan Times.
And this time, he seems to be making a valid point. It's easy to criticise him but how were the appointments of Rahman or even Sachin any different?
And then you also wonder, what any of them have done for Olympic sport since they have come onboard.
If publicity was the main goal of the ambassadors then they have failed. We have just 59 days left for the Olympics -- closer to the event, the Games will create a buzz of their own. It is at this point that we need the ambassadors to come out and give the Olympians a morale boost that will help them push even harder during training.
So if Salman wants to show that he is worthy of his appointment, then he simply needs to go out and do more. The validity of the criticism will depend of how good a job he does as compared to the other 'ambassadors.'
The Olympic motto is the hendiatris Citius, Altius, Fortius, which is Latin for "Faster, Higher, Stronger."
What do you know... the competition has already begun.