Is it racist to name Pujara ‘Steve’?

Chandigarh, December 17

On commentary today, former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne referred to the nickname given to Cheteshwar Pujara when he played county cricket for English team Yorkshire. Warne was discussing that ‘Cheteshwar’ is not the easiest name to pronounce, and thus he was called ‘Steve’ by his Yorkshire teammates.

Warne seems to be unaware that in England, casually calling non-English players ‘Steve’ has become a serious issue. Earlier this month, two former Yorkshire employees, Taj Butt and Tony Bowry, gave evidence that the Yorkshire club has institutionalised racism.

“They called every person of colour ‘Steve’,” Butt said. “Even Cheteshwar Pujara, who joined as an overseas professional, was called Steve because they could not pronounce his name.”

“Well I would prefer Cheteshwar, but it’s difficult to pronounce so the guys have come up with Steve,” Pujara said in 2018.

The question is — is it OK to give a random English name to a man from a different background just because his name is difficult to pronounce? — TNS, Agencies

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