Hardik Pandya said many problematic things on the show - from sexism, misogyny, racism to cultural appropriation - which did not go down well with viewers.

BCCI show cause notice to Hardik Pandya KL Rahul for comments on Koffee with KaranScreenshot courtesy: Hotstar
news Sexism Wednesday, January 09, 2019 - 15:07

Cricketer Hardik Pandya found himself in controversy recently after he and his peer, KL Rahul appeared on Karan Johar’s talk show Koffee With Karan. Hardik Pandya said several highly problematic things on the show – ranging from sexism, misogyny, racism to cultural appropriation, which did not go down well with viewers. And now, the cricketers have been served a show cause notice by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), seeking explanations for their remarks.

The BCCI’s move comes a day after Hardik issued an apology on Twitter, which was quite similar to apologies issued by many men during the Me Too movement, simply because they had been caught. He clarified that he did not mean to “disrespect or hurt anyone’s sentiments” and had gotten carried away with the nature of the show.

Vinod Rai, chief of the Committee of Administrators (CoA), a four-member panel nominated by the Supreme Court in 2017 to oversee the administration of the BCCI, told PTI that the cricketers had been given a period of 24 hours to respond to the show cause notice.

A senior BCCI official told Hindustan Times that Haridik’s comments revealed his attitude towards sensitive issues like respecting women and disregard for his responsibilities as an international cricketer.

Calling his behaviour on the talk show “unacceptable” the official said that his apology was not enough to close the issue. “He (Hardik) needs to understand the impact the utterances of an international cricketer have in this country but more importantly he needs to learn how to differentiate between the right and the wrong,” he said.

A BCCI source also told PTI that the body was considering disallowing cricketers from appearing on shows unrelated to cricket.

Hardik and KL Rahul have been under fire ever since the Koffee With Karan episode aired on January 6. While Rahul himself did not make problematic statements, he did not counter Hardik when he made statements like “I like to watch and observe how they (women) move [in nightclubs]. I’m little from the Black side so I need to see how they move.” This was Hardik’s response to Karan’s question on why Hardik does not ask names of the women he meets in nightclubs.

Twitter user Sreeparna Mazumder collated a thread of the several other problematic statements made by Hardik on the show.

Several people pointed out the male entitlement and misogyny apparent as the three men, including the host, laughed over these deeply disrespectful comments made on the show.

Meanwhile, veteran cricket commentator and expert Harsha Bhogle said that while it was good to issue a show cause notice to the offending cricketers, BCCI should also sensitise “young players to life beyond the dressing room”.

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