DAYS after Geoffrey Boycott celebrated the 40th anniversary of his hundredth first class century with a charity fundraiser in aid of Yorkshire Air Ambulance, he is forced to apologise – and rightly so – for making perceived racist comments.
Though Mr Boycott’s forthrightness explains his popularity to many, he has to realise that such intemperate language – even off-the-cuff at an informal gathering during the first Test between England and the West Indies – is unacceptable in these enlightened times.
To insinuate that he has been overlooked for a knighthood because the honours system is, in his opinion, biased in favour of black players is not only insulting to those genuine greats, like Garfield Sobers, Viv Richards and Curtly Ambrose, who received such an accolade, but reveals a certain arrogance on the Yorkshireman’s part. Not only has Mr Boycott foregone any lingering chance of a knighthood for his charitable endeavour, but it remains to be seen whether he will be welcome at Headingley for this week’s Test which was due to mark his greatest moment as a cricketer. If he now finds himself shunned by Yorkshire, and those media outlets that employ his services, he only has himself to blame for allowing such insensitive and idiotic language to besmirch his reputation in this way.
After all, the game will always be bigger than one player.