The Koffee With Karan Controversy: A Major Setback In The Career Of Two Rising Stars?

The two emerging stars of the Indian cricketing world, Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have grabbed headlines because of a recent off-field controversy surrounding them. The stellar duo had their episode of Koffee with Karan aired on 6th January, which has been highly criticized by the cricket community and the Indian public.

What the two stars said

The two youngsters were carried away by the nature of the show as they revealed their crushes, guilty pleasures and thoughts on female celebrities, to terming Kohli as a better batsman than Tendulkar. Amidst peals of laughter, they passed comments that were highly criticized. The revelations made by them allegedly carry a misogynistic, sexist and racist tone.

Pandya boasted of his ‘hook-ups’ and highlighted the ‘cool nature’ of his family in accepting and conversing about his sex life.

Pandya’s comments on the show

“I like to watch and observe how they (women in clubs) move. I’m little from the black side so I need to see how they move.” My go-to pick up line is “Hard d*** always.”

– Hardik Pandya, All-rounder, Indian Men’s cricket team

While Pandya bragged about being casual with his parents about the affairs, Rahul seemed a lot more composed and thoughtful about the comments he made.

The two have faced severe backlash as they went on to highlight the ‘perks’ of being a cricket celebrity very openly. While Pandya has faced the majority of the flak, some sections of the public feel that K. L. Rahul is unjustly punished for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and most importantly: with the wrong person. Pandya, issued a public apology after his comments went viral on social media platforms.

Pandya apologizes

‘After reflecting on my comments on Koffee with Karan, I would like to apologize to everyone concerned who I may have hurt in any way. Honestly, I got a bit carried away with the nature of the show. In no way did I mean to disrespect or hurt anyone’s sentiments.’

The consequences and reactions

The BCCI issued a show cause notice to the players on 9th of January instructing them to justify their actions by providing a comprehensive explanation.

“This is ungraceful and unacceptable from someone who represents the country on an international platform”

Ratnakar Shetty, BCCI nominee from Uttrakhand

The matter is currently under investigation by the Committee of Administrators (CoA). The COA is a four-member panel that was appointed by the Supreme Court in 2017 to look into all matters involving the BCCI. The Committee is unsatisfied with the explanations provided by the players and has issued a two-match ban for the culprits.

Additionally, Gillette terminated its contract with KL Rahul while Pandya got replaced in the team by Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar for the ongoing ODI series in Australia. Pandya may also miss India’s limited-overs tour of New Zealand scheduled for later this month. Former batsman Sunil Gavaskar and spinner Harbhajan Singh were among those who opposed the two for their controversial remarks.

“We as the Indian cricket team and responsible cricketers don’t align with those views; those were individual opinions. We are still waiting for a decision to be made.”

Virat Kohli, Captain

While it is extremely likely that the BCCI will bar all cricketers from featuring on such shows in the future, several reports indicate that this may be the last season of Koffee with Karan to air on Indian Television. While we certainly don’t expect these young idols to behave this way publicly, the question that still remains unanswered is whether it is justified for BCCI to bar them from pursuing their professional careers just because their ‘personal’ comments were disliked by the Indian public.

Sources: TOI, India Today, Indian Express
Image Credits: Mashable India

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