A day after World Championship medalist Vinesh Phogat voiced her dissatisfaction with the lack of support from other athletes, javelin star Neeraj Chopra has put his support behind the protesting wrestlers.
On Twitter, the Olympic champion expressed his disappointment at seeing athletes seek justice by demonstrating in the streets. “They have worked tirelessly to represent our great country and make us proud.” “As a country, we must protect the integrity and dignity of every individual, athlete or not,” the Tokyo Olympic gold medalist stated.
Neeraj may be the first active elite athlete to speak out in support of the wrestlers requesting a fair investigation against Wrestling Federation of India chief and BJP politician Brij Bhushan, who is accused of sexual harassment.
Vinesh, who is at the forefront of the protest, told The Indian Express at an Idea Exchange that she was saddened to see sportsmen from other sports, particularly cricket, turning a blind eye to them.
“Cricket is revered throughout the country, but not a single cricketer has spoken out.” We’re not asking you to speak in our support, but at the very least, send a neutral message stating that justice should be served to whichever party is right. This is what bothers me… “Whether it’s cricketers, badminton players, athletes, boxers, or whatever,” Vinesh told The Indian Express.
This is not the first time Neeraj Chopra has taken a stance on a topic. A Pakistani javelin thrower, Arshad Nadeem was wrongly accused of stealing Neeraj’s javelin.
When Pakistani javelin thrower Arshad Nadeem was wrongly accused of stealing Neeraj’s javelin in order to postpone his throw at the Olympics, the Haryana athlete stepped forward to clarify. Neeraj’s declaration in favour of the wrestlers may inspire more high-profile athletes to do the same.
“What is going on should never happen. This is a serious matter that must be handled impartially and transparently. “Responsible authorities must act quickly to ensure that justice is served,” Neeraj stated in his statement.