In May-June this year, when the world was stunned by the brutal killing of George Floyd, two-time Twenty20 World Cup-winning West Indies captain Darren Sammy grabbed headlines with his startling allegation that his Indian teammates in the IPL team Sunrisers Hyderabad addressed him as ‘kalu’, a word he later learnt had racial undertones. The 36-year-old Sammy, who plays T20 leagues around the world, stepped on the gas as #BlackLivesMatter gathered steam. Sammy spoke to Soumitra Bose from St Lucia. Excerpts:
The West Indies cricket team has been a potpourri of races and colours. You even had White men as captains in John Goddard and Gerry Alexander.
The West Indies never had a problem embracing any culture. If you see the history of Black people or the people of colour, we always had to adapt to the environment, adapt to places where we go. Embracing other people’s culture has never been an issue. The issue has always been the other way around...people embracing us.