I had no help, I had no support: DeFreitas on facing racism

London, June 27 (IANS) Former England cricketer Phil DeFreitas opened up on facing racism during his playing days and stated how it hampered his progress with the national team.

DeFreitas, who featured in 103 ODIs and 44 Tests for ‘The Three Lions', said his desperation to play international cricket kept him going despite coming face-to-face with the ugly side of racism many-a-times.

“I always felt that I had to be twice as good as a white person, which is quite sad that I felt that way,” DeFreitas said during the Sky Sports Podcast.

“I never felt welcome; I always felt like every game was my last game. I was desperate to play for England and that kept me going.”

He went on to the extent of saying that he received death threats for playing in the national team but still continued to brave it out in order to continue his dream that was to play for England.

“I received hate letters from the National Front — it's not only once, I received that two or three times, saying ‘If you play for England, we will shoot you'.

“I had no help, I had no support; I had to deal with that all on my own, it hurts quite a lot.

“I remember going home to my mum and saying ‘I don't feel like I belong there'. But I'm proud of what I achieved,” he added.

Sportspersons, in recent times, have been coming out and speaking more about racism since the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police personnel last month.

Floyd, aged 46, died shortly after Derek Chauvin, a police officer, held him down with a knee on his neck though he repeatedly pleaded, “I can't breathe,” and “please, I can't breathe”.



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