HARARE — Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has with immediate effect banned Mark Vermeulen from participating in all cricket activities indefinitely, after he owned up to repulsive remarks that reflect racism,prejudice and plain ignorance.
Vermeulen has been training with Mashonaland Eagles in the hope he would get a contract for the coming season.
“We find Vermeulen’s Facebook comment distasteful and unacceptable, particularly for a senior sportsman who should have learnt from playing in Zimbabwe and abroad that there is no place for
racism in sport moreso on the field of play where one may have team-mates and therefore colleagues of different races,”
ZC said. “This is why, as ZC, we pride ourselves in this diversity and seek to feed off it in our pursuit of excellence.
“For Vermeulen not to appreciate the humanity of another race is regrettable— to say the least — because at the time when he was virtually an international pariah after having also fallen foul of the
law in England, a non-white leadership at ZC decided to accommodate him.
For Vermeulen to set fire to the ZC Cricket Academy and still come back and be allowed to play, not just for a franchise, but also for Zimbabwe and then to go public with such toxic views, says a lot about the former Zimbabwe international.
“For example, if, when he was practising with Eagles last week, he was among the “apes”, he was among them as what?
“So instead of Vermeulen writing in his apology about ‘how our minds’ work, he should tell us how his own mind works.
“Racism is abominable and there can be no defence for it. The best, anyone who is uncomfortable with another race can do, is to rehabilitate themselves so that they accept fellow human beings as
equals and not ‘apes’.
“In short: Racists should rehabilitate,not apologise.”