'They were constantly calling me Paki' - Aakash Chopra says he faced racism in England

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jun 10, 2020, 07:38 PM(IST)

Aakash Chopra Photograph:( PTI )

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Former India opener Aakash Chopra has alleged that he was subjected to racism comments during his stint in England’s league cricket. Chopra, who played for Marylebone Cricket Club in 2007, said he was called “Paki” during his stint in England. 

Former India opener Aakash Chopra has alleged that he was subjected to racism comments during his stint in England’s league cricket. Chopra, who once played for Marylebone Cricket Club in 2007, said he was called “Paki” during his stint in England. 

Chopra, while explaining the incident said, “Paki” term is used as racial abuse if you are browned skinned and anywhere from the Asian subcontinent. He added even when he was standing at the non-striker’s end, they continued to call him Paki. 

"We (cricketers) at one point or the other, have been victims of racism. I remember when I used to play league cricket in England, there were two South Africans in one of the opposition teams and both of them really went on an abusive spree," Chopra said on his YouTube channel.

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"Even when I was at the non-striker's end, they were after my life. They were constantly calling me Paki. Now many believe Paki is a short form of Pakistan but that is not true. If you are brown-skinned. If you're anywhere from the Asian subcontinent, this term is used to racially abuse," he added.

Chopra further said that his team backed him during that phase but added it didn’t change the fact that he was subjected to racial slur by two players. The former India batsman then cited Andrew Symonds’ visit to India when the Aussie all-rounder faced monkey chants from the fans.  

"You're called Paki, and nobody likes it. The moment you call anybody Paki in England, you know the intention behind it. That's what happened with me at that time. My team stood by me but the truth is the person in front of me was doing it," he recalled.

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"Even if you're white-skinned, it happens then as well. When they come to this part of the world, they also subjected to this kind of behaviour," Chopra said.

"In fact, when Andrew Symonds came to India, so many Monkey chants started filling up the Wankhede Stadium. That is when people were told that your entry will be banned," Chopra said.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death, protests have been taking place in the US and other parts of the world with high-profile sportspersons stepping up in the matter.

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