On day 4 of the 5th Test between India and England, multiple fans at Edgbaston, complained about facing racism in the stands. They first complained to the ground security staff and when that did not help, they took to social media.

It was there that the news became big, leading to an announcement by the ECB that it will swiftly organise an inquiry into the matter. 

One hopes that there will be action against those behind this vile act of discrimination, but this also begs a bigger question: why does cricket keep falling prey to racism?


The answer is layered. Firstly, it’s not just cricket that is suffering due to racism, and it would be unfair to single out the sport in that regard. Secondly, cricket falls prey to it because society falls prey to it.  

See, cricket does not operate in isolation. It is a part of the world we live in and whatever happens in the world, reflects in the sport. 

It reflects the loyalty of people, the amount of love a human can carry for someone they do not even know. It reflects our collective devotion. Sadly, it also reflects our differences, and until we weed them out from within ourselves, cricket will likely and unfortunately, keep witnessing incidents of racism. 

The Indian Express

So, to end it, (among other things) people and players, the staff…everyone has to introspect their values as people. And anyone who finds that they still carry a sense of superiority and are willing to make others feel bad as a result, needs to work on it. 

Of course, this is wishful thinking, but it is also the only long-term solution.

Wallpaper Flare

A good insight into the issue was given by Ravi Ashwin in an interview with ScoopWhoop where he talked about the racist attack on Mohammed Siraj by Australian fans. When asked about racism in cricket and how it can be ended, he had said:

I don’t think it has to do anything with a particular section of people in any particular country. Everywhere people do believe that they belong to a majority sort of a thing and they want to have a go at somebody else. And I think racism is one tip of it, one part of it, where they believe that is one area of differentiation with someone.  
India TV

That’s a wise way to look at things. It is indeed not just about any particular country, as well. Racism exists pretty much everywhere, including India. It’s 2022, and we are still taunting people over the colour of their skin. So many of us have grown up with it, so many still carry the trauma it induced. 

Ashwin talks about that too. 

It happens in India as well. You get people calling you black in India as well…Unfortunately, racism isn’t a nationality, it’s an attitude. 
The Indian Express

“It is not a nationality, it is an attitude,” this line pretty much sums things up. Obviously, this does not mean that self-reflection will solve all problems or that immediate measures should be stopped and people should not be penalised for putting someone else through something so disgusting. But, punishments can only take us so far. 

At some point, everyone will have to sit with themselves and examine this ‘attitude’ Ashwin talks about. It may not end racism straightaway, but the journey to end it will start.