It has turned from mockery to tragedy, quite literally. What happens on the field must stay on the field appears even more important as the toll on Indian students being attacked in Australia surmounts.
When Andrew Symonds raged and riled against Indian crowds teased him with monkey chants (not as a matter of racism but rather out of childish immaturity), the Australian rallied behind him. When he accused Harbhajan Singh of racism, the likes of Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting were quick to get behind their star all rounder. But a year later, the scenario has become quite different. Symonds is the one undergoing therapy and repeatedly failing (the latest being his being sent home from the ICC World Twenty20 in England over an episode of public drinking), the Indians have simply chosen to bite the bullet and move on.
But that cannot be the case of serial attacks on Indian students studying in Australia. Racism has taken on a serious turn for the worse and it is with some discretion that those who continue to stay on run a deliberate risk to their life. Brett Lee can appeal all he likes to the Deakin University in Australia, for whom he happens to be the ambassador, to accord all protection possible for Indina students. While the race crimes cannot be directly related to what happens on the field, it is yet again a gruesome reminder of the need for more stable role models, ones that people can look up to and emulate. Furthering the madness of the streets on the field for the public view is only stoking a dangerous fire.