Amir Khan says eating curry is ‘not the right diet to be a champion’, which ‘triggered’ Azeem Rafiq | boxing news
Former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq said he was “triggered” by comments about Asian athletes made by boxer Amir Khan this week.
The former welterweight champion said Monday that Asian athletes use racism as an excuse when they underperform and that eating curry is “not the right diet to be a champion”.
Rafiq, who was discovered to have been the victim of “racial harassment and bullying” at Yorkshire Country Cricket Club, told Sky News: “Khan’s comments reinforce lazy stereotypes about Asian athletes when there is clear data to refute this.”
The Yorkshire cricketer’s allegations of institutional racism led to government intervention, several county board resignations and a ban on the club hosting tests.
“It’s especially sad because it comes from someone who inspired entire communities to play sports,” said Rafiq, 31.
“And to be honest, it triggered me. I suffer daily and find life incredibly difficult as someone who has been abused. And, according to Amir Khan, I’m just making an excuse.”
Khan, 35, won the silver medal as a 17-year-old at the 2004 Olympics and held welterweight titles between 2009 and 2012.
He has since led a celebrity life, appearing in television series I’m a celebrity, get me out of here and At home with the Khans.
At a press conference to mark his retirement on Monday, Khan said in comments reported in The Guardian“People used to say, ‘We’re Muslims, we’re Asians, we can’t be successful in boxing. We’re not going to be picked.’ It’s an excuse that all Asians use – that we will never be chosen.”
He continued: “Look at football, for example. There are no Asian footballers, but guess what they all say? ‘We won’t be chosen because we are Asian.’ I think it’s a fuckin’ bunch of bulls, really It’s a fuckin’ bunch of b******** Asians, when we can’t, to some extent, give up We don’t no. have it in us.
“Look, we Asians aren’t really supposed to be fighters. We’re not supposed to be good sportsmen. Our diet is terrible. It’s curries. That’s not the right diet to be a champion. If you put us against a lot of the English fighters, their diet is much better. They are stronger than us.
Equality groups called Khan’s comments “puzzling”.
“The sports sector has strived to become more anti-racist, progress is being made but there is still a long way to go to eliminate systemic racism,” said Arun Kang, chief executive of Sporting Equals.
“It is disconcerting and hugely frustrating as Amir has now reinforced stereotypes which the UK South Asian community has long fought to diminish.
“Such ill-informed and misguided comments have caused more harm to the community.”
In May, Crawley FC terminated manager John Yems’ contract after being accused of repeatedly using offensive racist language and separating dressing rooms along racial lines in a move described as “the apartheid of the times modern”.
Khan declined to comment.
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