Wrestler Vinesh Phogat, who is among the protesting wrestlers, has questioned Indian cricketers and other celebrities in the country over their choice to not speak up for fellow athletes and their struggle. Phogat minced no words when she said that cricketers come forward to congratulate them over their victories on the mat but when it comes to speaking up for the protesting wrestlers, not even a single player has shown their concern or showed support in any way. The wrestlers have been protesting at Jantar Mantar in wait for government to take action against Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. He has been accused of sexual harassment by the wrestlers.
Phogat, who has represented India in two Olympics and is a World medallist, slammed not just the cricketers but players from other sports like badminton, athletics and boxing for not speaking up. “The entire country worships cricket but not even a single cricketer has spoken up. We aren’t saying that you speak in our favour, but at least put up a neutral message and say there should be justice for whichever party. This is what pains me… Be it cricketers, badminton players, athletics, boxing…” She told The Indian Express in an interview.
Phogat said that during Black Lives Matter movement, Indian cricketers had taken up the cause in their own ways. But when it comes to their own athletes’ matter, they are silent about it.
“It’s not like we don’t have big athletes in our country. There are cricketers… During the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, they showed their support. Don’t we deserve even that much?,” said Phogat.
__ https://t.co/eMTUtJqn5s — Vinesh Phogat (@Phogat_Vinesh) April 28, 2023
The grappler doubted the intentions of the star Indianc cricketers. She said that there is something wrong about this silence.
As athletes, we train hard every day to represent our country on the international stage. It is deeply concerning to see our athletes finding it necessary to protest on the streets regarding the allegations of harassment in the Indian wrestling administration. My heart goes out_
— Abhinav A. Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) April 26, 2023
“You do come forward to congratulate us when we win something. Even the cricketers tweet when that happens. Abhi kya ho gaya? (What has happened now?) Are you so afraid of the system? Or maybe there’s something fishy going on there too? (Unke daal mein bhi kaala hai, yeh maan ke chale hum?),” she added.
Among the prominent figure in Indian sport, only two big names from sports other than wrestling have come out in support of wrestlers. They are Abhinav Bindra and Neeraj Chopra. Cricketers like Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni have maintained silence over this matter so far.