Controversial Zimbabwean cricketer Mark Vermeulen gets life ban for 'apes' racial slur
Mark Vermeulen has been banned from all cricket by Zimbabwe Cricket for engaging in a racist tirade on Facebook in which he denigrated black Zimbabweans by referring them as "apes".
New Delhi: Controversial batsman Mark Vermeulen has been banned from all cricket by Zimbabwe Cricket for engaging in a racist tirade on social media site Facebook in which he denigrated black Zimbabweans by referring them as "apes".
In a statement released on Friday, Cricket Zimbabwe said that Vermeulen "owned up to repulsive remarks" which reflects "prejudice and plain ignorance".
In an Facebook conversation thread started by former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor over Proper Utseya's claims of racial discrimination by Alistair Campbell, Vermeulen expressed regret at the way blacks had been educated, claiming it was the reason the whites were subjected to racism in the game.
The 36-year-old then called the blacks apes. Taylor has since took down the post, but not before others had already taken screenshots.
Here is Vermeulen’s full post: “Haaaaaa a a a!!!!!!!!!! If we had left them in the bush and never educated them prosper wouldn’t be having these problems because he would be living happily in his mud hut eating ground up maize so of course it’s our fault every single problem a black has is because of white people that’s why racism is only able to work one way because we basically fxxxd up the apes’ lives.”
The statement added that ZC "find Vermeulen’s Facebook comment distasteful and unacceptable particularly for a senior sportsman who should have learnt from playing in Zimbabwe and abroad that there is no place for racism in sport moreso on the field of play where one may have team-mates and therefore colleagues of different races."
"Racism is abominable and there can be no defence for it. The best anyone who is uncomfortable with another race can do is to rehabilitate themselves so that they accept fellow human beings as equals and not “apes”," the statement continued.
In the statement, ZC also detailed Vermeulen's chequered past and how he was allowed "to play not just for a franchise but also for Zimbabwe and then to go public with such toxic views, says a lot about the former Zimbabwe international" even he "set fire to the ZC Cricket Academy" in 2008.
Earlier, some section of Zimbabwean cricketers have threatened to boycott domestic cricket if no action is taken by against Vermeulen.
Vermeulen had previously involved in a number of disciplinary problems. He was sent home from Zimbabwe's tour of England in 2003 after ignoring management instructions.
In 2006, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) banned him for ten years after a violent altercation with spectators in during a Central Lancashire League match. The ban, however, was reduced to three years after an appeal.
During Zimbabwe's 2003–04 tour of Australia, Vermeulen fractured his skull in a One-Day International match against India.
After quitting international cricket last year, Vermeulen was training with Mashonaland Eagles "in the hope that they would contract him for the coming season".