Australian cricketer branded a ‘fag’ at Sri Lanka cricket match

PinkNews logo surrounded by illustrated images including a rainbow, unicorn, PN sign and pride flag.

A Sri Lankan cricket fan waved a sign branding Australian cricketer Glen Maxwell a ‘fag’ during a Cricket World Cup match.

Australia faced off against Sri Lanka at Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday – scooping a victory to reach the quarter finals.

However, Sri Lankan social media has moved to condemn a man snapped holding a sign at the game, which brands cricket star Glenn Maxwell with a homophobic slur.

The sign reads “Maxwell Ponnaya” – which roughly translates as “Maxwell is a fag”.

Sri Lankan politician Malsha Kumaranatunge – who is the daughter of former Minister for Sports Jeevan Kumaranatunge – said: “Cricket is a game you play with respect.

“Respect for your own team but most importantly, respect for your opponents. Holding placards like this, insulting players of the host country, in their own soil, is not only disrespectful to the people of Australia but reflects us Sri Lankans in a poor light.

“Using homophobic terms to insult opposing players or anyone is unacceptable.

“Cricket is for everyone. Whether you are Sinhalese, Tamil or Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu, rich or poor, gay or straight.”

Dhyan Ranatunga, son of former Sri Lankan Cricket captain Arjuna Ranatunga, added: “A lot of people seem to see the ‘joke’ in this, but I’m having trouble seeing this so called ‘joke’.

“Cricket is supposed to be the ‘gentlemen’s game’, and this certainly isn’t an act of any ‘gentleman’.”

Aritha Wickramasinghe, a lawyer at an international law firm and Sri Lankan cricket fan, told PinkNews: “Homophobia in sport, especially in Cricket, is something that all cricket loving nations must get together to tackle.

“Using gay slurs such as this at a World Cup is insensitive and insulting to the millions of young gay men and women that endure discrimination and violence because of who they chose to love.

“As a Sri Lankan Cricket lover, I am ashamed of fans like this. This is not funny and it certainly isn’t cricket.”