It’s 2023 and people still have a hard time accepting that different body types do not correspond with how healthy someone is. Cricketer Azam Shah is often reduced to his body shape rather than the ability he displays on the field and he has learnt to live with it. But when pacer Naseem Shah ‘teased’ him by imitating his body shape during a match, Pakistani Twitter took a stand for Khan.
A video from a Bangladesh Premiere League match between the Khulna Tigers and Comilla Victorians has been circulating on social media where Shah came close and tried to embrace Khan who pushed him away after an exchange of words. After that, Shah followed Khan and held his arms up in imitation of the unaware Khan’s walk. What may have been considered funny by the 19-year-old bowler was branded body shaming by netizens.
They did not want the “bullying” to be mistaken for “teasing”.
No excuses are acceptable. For Twitter users, 19 is old enough.
Khan may have not said anything but that doesn’t mean he is unaffected. Netizens pointed out that the batsman has been vocal about this on multiple occasions.
They want Shah to do better.
Just because Khan chooses to transform negativity into motivation does not mean he is inviting it.
In a recent interview with ESPN Cric Info, the 24-year-old batsman revealed that he was criticised because of his weight right after he got his big break in the PSL. He was told that his body is “not suited for the elite game [level] of cricket”. The cricketer has exerted himself on multiple occasions to prove he deserves his place on the team.
“It’s not about being overweight. It’s about performance. If a guy is scoring 400 runs and he is super-fit and another guy is scoring 800 runs and he is not super-fit, I will keep the guy who scored 800 runs in my team. That’s my point of view,” he added.
The world we live in is, thankfully, growing more considerate, and less toleratent of social norms and behaviours that do more harm than good. While skinny might have been the body type everyone aspired for a decade or so ago, right now we’re on the track of accepting the body type we have. On our individual journeys of embracing body positivity, there is no room for someone being put down for the way they look.
Khan and Shah were teammates as part of the Quetta Gladiators in the PSL and are teammates for the BPL’s Khulna Tigers. We don’t know if they’re friends, but we do know that friends don’t body shame friends.
Naseem Shah is being slammed on Twitter for body shaming fellow cricketer Azam Khan during BPL match