February 7th, 2008

New Zealand

A plague of petty sport fans

Well, I guess I'll try writing some kind of normal entry.

I must admit that I'm a little embarrassed to be an Australian citizen at the moment. The offensive and even racist behaviour of certain sections of the Australian community is becoming sickening. I will not be surprised if cricket teams from the subcontinent stop touring here. Why should they bother? Firstly there's the whole Harbhajan Singh fiasco. Whether or not he called Andrew Symonds a "monkey" or any other derogatory slur is really irrelevant at this stage - it hasn't been proven, it is denied by Sachin Tendulkar (the only Indian within earshot), and it very much could be overhyped by Ricky Ponting due to being labelled Harbhajan's bunny. What is relevant is just how petty Australian sportsfans can be. Every time Harbhajan does, well, ANYTHING, he gets thunderous boos from the audience. Come on, people. This isn't sporting, and it sure as hell isn't cricket. Move on. In Brisbane on Tuesday, Harbhajan made a gutsy and valuable stand and the crowd still booed him after he got out. Not to mention that they chanted "Harbhajan's a wanker". Grow up.

What's even worse, however, is this story of an egg being randomly thrown at members of the Sri Lankan squad, including the world's best spin bowler, Muttiah Muralitharan. Now, it was dark, so chances are they didn't know it was Murali, but they obviously targeted the group because they were Sri Lankan. Muralitharan has refused to participate in tours of Australia before due to the abuse he has copped; despite scientific tests showing that his bowling action is legal, even our former Prime Minister, John Howard, labelled Murali a "chucker". I'm deeply bothered by the following quote, and I'm sure that if I were Australian-born rather than just a citizen, I would be rather ashamed too:

Jayawardene said it was important to "block everything" out during tours of Australia. "When you come here it's not just the players who are aggressive, it's also the crowd who are as aggressive as their team," he said.

Way to make the opposition feel welcome, guys. You should respect them, not act aggressively, derisively, and abusively to them. They've come a long way from a completely different part of the world to entertain you. There's just no need for this kind of pathetic, childish, and small-minded behaviour.