Pandya spoke exactly like most entitled athletes across the world do unless they have had public speaking training
A young man who makes a lot of money playing professional sports has outdated views about women and treats them like playthings. This really should not be surprising. Whether it is Hardik Pandya or any number of young footballers or American professional sports athletes, it would hardly surprise anyone. What is unexpected is that the young man is stupid enough to make insensitive comments on a public forum. Pandya’s employers and publicists have failed badly in not sensitising the young man about how he should talk and develop the successful ability to disconnect his primordial brain cells from his mouth without a layer of control. If Pandya discovers that all this has cost him sponsors and credibility, he will have learnt his lessons. But he should have been given lessons on social etiquette and political correctness earlier. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should take a part of the blame for this. The Indian Premier League (IPL) has made very rich men out of hundreds of young Indian cricketers and unfortunately, young men, who have suddenly hit the jackpot, cannot be expected to speak and act like mature people. It is important, therefore, to teach these young men how to behave. One cannot expect this to happen automatically but these young male athletes ought to be taught about the risks of acting like teenage delinquents in public in an age of instant social media updates, cameras and videos. The IPL has also made celebrities of many cricketers and not the few who play for the Indian national side. Of course, this does not preclude the fact that parents and schools have a role to play in this as well.
As for the television host who is drawing some flak for asking ‘leading’ questions, he did the job of a good television host, who is obviously trying to get his guests to make controversial statements. In that regard he did nothing wrong and pointing fingers at him is like blaming the messenger. If a young man is stupid enough to be indiscreet, that is his call. Young athletes have temptations around them and they often fall into this trap. They can learn a lesson from their seniors who despite the occasional bone-headed statement almost always say the right thing. This is also important because many other children look up to these players as role models and mimic them.