Zimbabwean batsman Mark Vermeulen was banned from all activities of cricket by the Zimbabwe Cricket board on grounds of racism. During his angry outburst on social media, Vermeulen went on to refer to black Zimbabweans as “pigs”.
Vermeulen had allegedly made the comment in July when Zimbabwean spinner Prosper Utseya had claimed that he was dropped because of the racist mindset of the Zimbabwean selectors. However, a screenshot of Vermeulen’s comment was back circulating on social media.
Zimbabwe Cricket in a press release said that Vermeulen was banned because of his disgraceful behavior. “Racism is abominable and there can be no defence for it.” “Mark Vermeulen has been banned from participating in all cricket activities after he owned up to repulsive remarks that reflect racism, prejudice and plain ignorance. We find Vermeulen’s Facebook comment distasteful and unacceptable, particularly for a senior sportsman who should have learned from playing in Zimbabwe and abroad that there is no place for racism in sport.”
Vermeulen admitted that he regretted his mistake and he personally apologized to Prosper Utseya for the same. “I know my comments were over the top and I apologise to all that I have offended,” said Vermeulen. “But as a cricketer, it’s how our minds work… It was not meant in a menacing way. It was just a chirp that often happens out on the field of play and as men, you take the blow on the chin and get on with the game.”