India captain Virat Kohli has torn into social media trolling, throwing his weight behind Mohammed Shami who suffered vile abuse after India’s loss to Pakistan in the team’s T20 World Cup opener. Kohli spoke about blacking Shami “200 per cent”.
“There’s a good reason why we are playing on the field and not some bunch of spineless people on social media that have no courage to actually speak to any individual in person. They hide behind their identities and go after people through social media, making fun of people and that has become a social entertainment in today’s world, which is so unfortunate and so sad to see,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference, with India playing against New Zealand in Dubai on Sunday.
“This is literally the lowest level of human potential that one can operate at and that’s how I look at these people,” he added.
After India’s 10-wicket loss to Pakistan, Shami became the target-in-chief for some people on social media, based on his religion. His captain stood by him, while calling the abuse pathetic.
“To me, attacking someone over their religion is the most pathetic thing that a human being can do. Everyone has the right to voice their opinion over what they feel about a certain situation, but I personally have never ever even thought of discriminating anyone over their religion. That’s a very sacred and personal thing to every human being.”
The skipper hit out at Shami’s critics, saying that the team is fully behind the fast bowler.
“People take out their frustrations because they obviously have no understanding of what we do as individuals. They have no understanding of how much effort we put on the field. They have no understanding of the fact that someone like Mohammad Shami has won India a number of matches in the last few years and he’s been our primary bowler with Jasprit Bumrah, when it comes to making an impact in games.”
“If people can overlook that and his passion for his country, honestly I don’t even want to waste one minute of my life to give any attention to those people, and neither does Shami and neither does anyone else in the team. We stand by him fully. We are backing him 200 per cent, and all those who have attacked him, can come with more force if they want to. Our brotherhood, our friendship within the team, nothing can be shaken.”