Shahid Afridi is a commendable cricketer and one of the well-known pride of Pakistan. Afridi has been the star of various ad campaigns, to know that he is undoubtedly a cultural icon and that his comments are insolently misogynistic. If he is in the market for another endorsement deal, he may as well be the face of sexism.
Just like his batting, Afridi’s take on issues is equally senseless and often lacks maturity. It doesn’t matter what the situation is, Afridi, like his madcap batting, just can’t control his urges to make a fool of himself.
Time and again, Afridi has given controversial statements over the Indian Army and the government. He did the same recently when he visited POK and labeled PM Narendra Modi as a ‘bigger disease’ than Coronavirus. He said, “I am in your beautiful village, I am very delighted. I was planning to visit you all for a long time. The world is currently infected by such a big disease. But the bigger disease is in Modi’s mind.”
Soon Indian cricketers and fans slammed the Pakistani cricketer for making such comments. But this is not the first time Afridi has made such comments post his retirement. Apart from being a loudmouth, he has also drawn flak for being a sexist and an anti-Hindu bigot for his insensitive comments in the past. Let’s have a look at 3 such instances.
Insulting Women Cricketers
Celebrities have an unwarranted social responsibility because they serve as role models whether they like it or not. That’s not to say that they aren’t allowed to hold unpopular opinions but when those opinions have no moral basis, it’s best that they refrain from making public statements expressing them. In all aspects of the meaning of the word, Shahid Afridi and his narrow-minded views shine a bright light on the term ‘sexism.’
In 2014, during his interview to ARY news channel, Afridi is asked what he thinks about encouraging Pakistani women to play cricket. To which, Afridi replied that Pakistani women should only cook food. He said,
“Our women have great taste in their hands and they cook very tasty food.”
What Afridi is propagating with his ‘opinion’ is that a society that undermines its female population, limits their capabilities, and instead highlights the achievements of men, is ideal.
Cricket ‘Forbidden’ For Daughters
Shahid Afridi’s memoir Game Changer is yet another testimony that if you choose to live under a rock, no power on earth can drag you out and make you see reason. The Pakistani cricketer is every bit a retrograde man who poses a serious threat, not just to women and their freedom but their very acceptance as human beings.
In his memoir, Afridi writes that he will not allow his daughters to play outdoor games including cricket, or compete in public sports and brings up society and religion as excuses to justify the misogynist in him.
“They have my permission to play any sport as long as they’re indoors. Cricket? No, not for my girls. They have permission to play all the indoor games they want but my daughters are not going to be competing in public sporting activities. I’ve made this decision and their mother agrees with me. The feminists can say what they want,” Afridi wrote in the book.
Breaking TV After Daughter Performs ‘Arti’
Last year, Shoaib Akhtar made a major revelation that his former teammate Danish Kaneria faced discrimination in the national team because of his religion. Akhtar had even claimed that some Pakistani cricketers were reluctant to eat with Kaneria because he is a Hindu.
When Akhtar was revealing the malpractices in the Pakistani cricket team, Afridi’s video, where he was seen making fun of Hindu traditions, surfaced on social media.
During a chat show Afridi was asked by the anchor if he has ever broken a TV in anger. To which he unabashedly and proudly revealed that he had smashed his TV set at home on seeing his daughter perform an aarti.
He said, “I smashed my TV once, because of my wife. These daily soaps on Star Plus were quite popular back then. I had asked my wife to watch them alone and not with the kids. One day, I saw one of my daughters performing arti while watching a show on Star Plus. I, then, lost my cool and smashed the TV inside the wall.”
It’s probably in Afridi’s best interest to hire a publicist and avoid future gaffes like these.