A Sri Lankan cricket fan has been roundly condemned by his countrymen for waving a placard labeling Glenn Maxwell a ‘fag’ at a world cup match in Sydney.
Thousands cheered as Maxwell propelled Australia to victory over Sri Lanka on Sunday (8 March), completely unaware of the anti-gay slur which was written in Tamil.
A photo making the rounds on Sri Lankan social media shows a man in the national team’s jersey holding a sign reading, ‘Maxwell is a fag.’
Politician Malsha Kumaranatunge, and the daughter of a former sports minister, said cricket was a game you played with respect, most importantly for your opponents.
‘Holding placards like this, insulting players of the host country, in their own soil, is not only disrespectful to the people of Australia but reflects us Sri Lankans in a poor light,’ she wrote on Facebook.
‘Using homophobic terms to insult opposing players or anyone is unacceptable. Cricket is for everyone. Whether you are Sinhalese,Tamil or Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu, rich or poor, gay or straight. Respect.’
Dhyan Carrick Ranatunga, son of former Sri Lankan Cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga, called out those who found the sign funny.
‘A lot of people seem to see the "joke" in this, but I’m having trouble seeing this so called "joke,"’ he said.
‘This is just pathetic and disgraceful by whoever this guy is, and also to anyone who sees this as a joke.
‘Cricket is supposed to be the "gentlemen’s game", and this certainly isn’t an act of any "gentleman."
‘He’s disrespecting the game of cricket, and Sri Lanka too! He’s not a fan of cricket, not a fan of Sri Lanka. It’s such a shame he’s wearing a Sri Lanka jersey! We are better than that!’