Acts of braveness – Frontline

SHANE WARNE’S dramatic exit from the World Cup overshadowed one of the vital brave acts of protest seen within the sporting enviornment for a very long time. In Zimbabwe’s opening match in opposition to Namibia on February 10, Andy Flower and Henry Olonga protested the oppressive regime of Robert Mugabe by carrying black armbands throughout the sport to sentence the “dying of democracy” of their nation. Regardless of critically risking their careers, Flower and Olonga continued their marketing campaign by carrying black wristbands in Zimbabwe’s sport in opposition to India. The Zimbabwe Cricket Union (ZCU), whose patron is Mugabe, reported the 2 to the Worldwide Cricket Council (ICC) for “bringing the sport into disrepute”. Nonetheless, the ICC selected to not take any disciplinary motion in opposition to the gamers. It has additionally been reported that Flower and Olonga have been grilled by the ZCU for his or her actions.

In an more and more commercialised cricket world, Flower, Zimbawe’s biggest cricketer, and Olonga, its first black Check participant, introduced again fleeting recollections of a misplaced period of politically acutely aware sports activities individuals – of Muhammad Ali protesting the Vietnam Warfare and racial segregation within the U.S., of Tommie Smith’s and John Carlos’ black energy salute within the 1968 Mexico Metropolis Olympics and of anti-apartheid sporting boycotts, together with the forfeiture of the 1974 Davis Cup closing by India to South Africa. It’s arduous to think about the braveness it should have taken to overtly criticise a authorities that routinely makes use of violent strategies in opposition to dissenters.

In a strongly worded assault, the 2 acknowledged: “We can not in good conscience take to the sector and ignore the truth that hundreds of thousands of our compatriots are ravenous, unemployed and oppressed… We’re conscious that individuals have been murdered, raped, overwhelmed and had their properties destroyed due to their beliefs and that many haven’t been prosecuted… It’s inconceivable to disregard what is going on in Zimbabwe. Though we’re simply skilled cricketers, we do have a conscience and emotions.” Olonga is already feeling the results of his protest. Regardless of being one in every of Zimbabwe’s frontline bowlers, he was dubiously dropped for video games in opposition to India and Australia. He has additionally been suspended by his native membership Takashinga. The Melbourne newspaper, The Age, has reported that Flower is near securing a deal that may see him taking part in home cricket in Australia, indicating {that a} profession transfer could also be on the playing cards.

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