Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mind Your Language

There has now been a lot of media attention on yesterday's story. Though the coverage has tended to concentrate not on the actions but on the words.

The main fuss has been about the allegation that, in response to provocation from the dark skinned Andrew Symonds, the equally dark skinned Harbhajan Singh answered by calling him a "monkey". The umpire did not apparently hear the phrase, but after discussion with the those involved, the Indian has been banned for three matches.

Words can be bad. But actions can be much worse. I do not blame Symonds for not "walking", he left the umpire to make the decision. I do not even see a major problem with "sledging". Those are just words...

I think yesterday's picture is worth a thousand words.

But that does not excuse saying anything, you should still mind your language. Incidentally, that TV show from the late 1970s was a selection of the worst national stereotypes thrown together, and by the standards of today it was hideously offensive. But my parents enjoyed it. I guess because, however ridiculously they were portrayed, it was just an unusual joy to see a couple of brown faces on the television. Each character on the show had his own catchphrase...

I think yesterday's picture is worth a thousand apologies.

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