Earlier today, The Indian Express reported that the captain of the blind cricket team of India, Ajay Kumar Reddy was unhappy with a congratulatory tweet by former Indian opener Virender Sehwag, where Sehwag had termed them “the other men in blue”.
Indian team for the visually impaired players had won the T20 Blind Cricket World Cup title on Sunday, following which Sehwag tweeted this:
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 12, 2017
This was rather an innocuous tweet that was re-tweeted by almost 4000 twitter users, but Indian Express claimed that this tweet was not appreciated by the captain of the winning team.
“We wear the same blue jersey, represent the same tri-colour and play with equal pride and passion then why term us as ‘other’?” Indian Express quoted Reddy as saying.
The newspaper also made this (the allegation that Indian blind team captain is unhappy with Sehwag) their headline, even though it was just a small part of the report.
As a result, the report was used by many to question Sehwag over his apparent insensitive comment. The issue was raised even by a Congress IT cell executive, who has earlier been caught sharing wrong information and fake pictures.
The Congress IT cell executive was instantly rebuked and corrected by Sehwag, who pointed out that “the other men in blue” was not a phrase coined by Sehwag, but it was the official campaign theme for the blind cricket team.
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) February 14, 2017
This rebuke by Sehwag was followed by a video message by Ajay Kumar Reddy himself, who claimed that the media had wrongly quoted him and he had no reason to be unhappy with Sehwag, who has been quite supportive of the team.
— Blind Cricket (CABI) (@blind_cricket) February 14, 2017
Sehwag acknowledged the message of Reddy and asked him not to be upset over this misquoting by the media. The aggressive batsman also suggested the media to try some positive stories, instead of going for clickbait stories.
It is not for the first time that campaigns related to the blind cricket team has been converted into a controversy by the media. Earlier we had seen how some journalists wrongly blamed sports minister Vijay Goel for a photograph that was part of the campaign.
Such behaviour by media can be explained only on three grounds – ignorance of facts, deliberate distortion out of malice, or obsession with being politically correct.