Headline: Australian Cricketer Usman Khawaja Takes a Stand for Rights Despite Warning
“I still believe in what I said, and I will continue to believe in it, maybe forever,” says the Australian batter in a video message from the day before.
Usman Khawaja, an Australian batter, was told not to wear shoes with slogans related to rights, following the rules of the International Cricket Council (ICC). In response, on the first day of the Test against Pakistan in Perth, he expressed his protest by wearing a black armband.
The cricketer, born in Pakistan and now playing for Australia, had intended to wear shoes with slogans like “Freedom is a human right” and “All lives are equal” during the match. However, Cricket Australia asked him to follow the rules of the International Cricket Council (ICC). In response, he issued a statement and expressed his determination to challenge the ICC’s directive.
Khawaja risked facing penalties from the ICC, which could have led to him being banned from playing, receiving a warning for a first-time violation, or being fined 75 percent of his match fee for wearing the slogan-covered shoes.
According to the rules, players and officials cannot show messages on their clothing or gear unless they have prior approval from their board or the ICC.
“I’ll do my best to challenge the ICC as soon as I can, whenever it’s possible,” Khawaja stated in an interview with Channel 7 on Thursday.
In the past, the ICC has allowed certain actions by players, setting a precedent. There have been instances where players did similar things, and the ICC took no action.
I feel it’s a bit unfair that they are taking a stand against me now, especially when there have been precedents for similar actions in the past.
“I’m an adult, and I can make my own choices, but I believe the ICC will keep imposing fines on me, and eventually, it might affect the focus on the game.
I still believe in what I said, and I will continue to believe in it, maybe forever. Right now, I need to focus on my game, but this issue is on my mind.
Khawaja expressed his disappointment to Fox Cricket, noting that he was surprised by the number of people who were unsettled by his stand.
“I don’t understand why there’s controversy over saying ‘all lives matter’ and expressing that ‘freedom is a human right.’ I don’t see how it becomes political,” he stated.
I find it difficult to understand why some people find what I said distasteful. I know that not everyone will agree with each other, and I’m okay with that.
However, it does make me feel uneasy that some people find those words uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I will always stand up for what I believe in, even if others don’t agree with me or don’t like me saying it.