Rivalry Gone Too Far: Marlon Samuels’ Response to Ben Stokes’ Quarantine Remark is Vile, Misogynistic

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Rivalry Gone Too Far: Marlon Samuels’ Response to Ben Stokes’ Quarantine Remark is Vile, Misogynistic

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

Cricket might be a gentleman’s game, but few individuals have managed to disgrace it over the years, whether through their conduct on the pitch or comments off it. West Indies all-rounder Marlon Samuels has entered that infamous list.

In one of his recent interviews, England cricketer Ben Stokes was talking about quarantine facilities in government-appointed hospitals being bad. He said that he wouldn’t wish it even on his worst enemy. Narrating the story further, he told the interviewer, “I text my brother saying the same thing, and my brother asked, ‘You wouldn’t even do that to Marlon Samuels?” I said, ‘No, it’s that bad.’ That’s how tough it was.”

The two have been old-time rivals. It began in 2015 when Samules mocked the Englishman with a salute. The duo clashed once again the next year when West Indies beat England at the T20 World Cup final. But this war of words has gone too far now.

While Ben Stokes’ comments at best, can be described as rude, or impolite, Marlon Samuels went a little too far with his response.

In an Instagram story, the West Indian cricketer posted, “No white boy could diss me in the sports and no get back diss look at this bitch still thinking about me give me 14 days with you wife turn har into Jamaican in 14 seconds mate none of yall knows me that simple means it’s my fucking superior skin tone y’all hate fuck you.”

Marlon Samuels used the public platform to not only have a go at Ben Stokes, but also his wife. He had no business dragging into it. It was incredibly crass, racist, sexist, and unbecoming of a player who has played the game at the highest level. Rightly, he was subject to severe criticism, with former England captain Michael Vaughan calling it “appalling”.

Fans have demanded the cricketing fraternity, including current and former players, to come out against Samuels publicly for these racially charged comments.

“What kind of sicko talks of “superior skin tone” and “14 days with your wife” in 2020?” tweeted Iceland Cricket.

There is a unified chorus that the ICC should take action against Marlon Samuels and that such conduct has no place for superstars of the game.

While cricketing bodies may issue statements and organise cosmetic events to display their stand against “racism”, their true mettle is tested based on what actions they take in incidents like these. Current as well as former players, commentators should publicly denounce these comments in the strongest possible terms. Samuels shouldn’t be allowed to become a role model for the next generation, for that would be a tragedy for the gentleman’s game.

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