Breaking News: Afridi can slap

I don't care who he kicked. I only wonder if the response toward him would be the same if we had lost the Asia Cup.

Ema Anis March 24, 2012
The breaking news logo in red flashed across the screen and the news anchor continued to exaggerate the half-baked story for a good 10 minutes in a shrill, breathless manner.
Autograph mangnay walay paristaron per chokkon, chakkon, dhakkon aur thapparon ki baarish  (Fours, sixes, pushes and slaps raining on autograph-seeking fans)

Shahid Afridi ki Karachi airport per maar dhaar se bharpur century. (Shahid Afridi whacks a fan completing a century with a bang)

Shahid Afridi jazbaat per qabu na rakh sakay, maddahon ki dhunayi kardi! (Shahid Afridi loses control over emotions, bashes fans)

Shahid Afridi kay shaeqeen ko dhakkay aur thappar! (Shahid Afridi's pushes and slaps for his fans)

As usual, all our news channels threw ethics aside, added sound effects and broadcasted Afridi’s brawl with a fan at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi last night.

Even if we ignore the sensationalism and the irresponsibility of these news channels, the news was still utter nonsense. Afridi later came on mainstream news channels and explained in his defense, that his young daughter was waiting for him with flowers and wasn't noticed by an overwhelming mob of fans that was close enough to trampling the little girl.

He stated:
“They did not show my daughter who had fallen. The breaking news is just showing the act. I got emotional, my young daughter was there. It was a moment of anger. After one relaxes you realise that it is wrong. I realise that I should not have done it.”

I expected an onslaught of hate-filled remarks and thousands of lame caricatures of him (like the ones people make about Misbah). But what happened was totally unexpected. The local Twitterati, usually the first ones to bash everyone to no one, showed a soft corner for Boom Boom.

Tweet 1:
@samishah: How is this afridi thing even an issue. Someone hurt his kid. Accident or no, if he pounded that guy into dust, it's understandable.

Tweet 2:
@Spugmay: Geo news being unfair with #Afridi .. who can be clearly heard in video saying "hatto bachay kharay hoay hain yahan pe"

It is not the first time Afridi has displayed aggressive behaviour and yet, they melted.

Commentors on Tribune did not differ either. Here are some responses:

Comment 1: 
Afridi loves cricket and his fans, but he loves his daughter more

Comment 2:
 I’d probably react the same way

Ironically, this contradicts the reaction Afridi received after flinging his bat towards a fan once at a cricket stadium and his fans went on the usual bashing spree.

Who knows what the fan said to make him lose his temper?

If Afridi had been advised extensively by people across the country to control his temper then, why not now?

I am least interested in knowing who Afridi pushed, punched or gagged or for what reason and whether it was justified or not. I only wonder: would the response toward him be the same if we had lost the Asia Cup?

I think not.

Read more about Ema here. Follow her on twitter @EmaAnis.


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Ema Anis
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.