OMG! DJ Bravo waits for third umpire as sponsor caught playing the Adi-darse

At one point in the life of every young cricket enthusiast in the Caribbean, there comes that eureka moment when you realise that: Maybe, I can make a living off of doing this!

Training becomes meaningful, you pay more attention to your diet, seek out the best coaches you can find and absorb hours of footage of contemporary cricket stars.

You turn down party invitations from your friends, say “no” to vacation jobs, swallow your pride in the company of arrogant, discourteous sport administrators and, after years and years of sacrifice, you get your chance on the big stage. And you take it.

Adidas say they want you to be their next global cricket star; you hi-five your agent and sign on the dotted line.

And then, they do this!

Photo: Adidas Cricket "celebrates" West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago cricket star on its Twitter page. (Courtesy @adidascricket)
Photo: Adidas Cricket “celebrates” West Indies and Trinidad and Tobago cricket star on its Twitter page.
(Courtesy @adidascricket)

Editor’s Note: So is Adidas’ caricature all in good fun? Or wrong, wrong, wrong? Let us know.

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  1. I like it. Looks like something I would have written?.

  2. Doesn’t say if he knew beforehand though.

  3. It wouldn’t be the first and it wouldn’t be the last. They did the same to Koby Bryant and he switched to NIKE at the end of his contact making them loose millions of dollars to NIKE.

  4. Let’s BLANK “Ah-did-ass” rass for portraying black people in that light I think it’s a Russian based company. Quit patronizing their brand! The white racist, out of place backsides. The brand name says it all. All blacks should ban their products. Out of place!!

  5. I just remembered this and wanted to bring it in since Linda Louison seems to think the hullabaloo over Bravo is just black people being sensitive. Racism may or may not have played a part in how Bravo was portrayed, but fans of all races are sensitive to their sports heroes being portrayed unflatteringly. This was a big deal.

    • Thanks Erline.

      It’s quite clear that anyone would be critical when they are portrayed unflatteringly. It wouldn’t apply only to sports fans.

      This article is perfect in supporting my point that people are more upset by other issues.

      I insisted several times that they could have used a better artist. The drawing resembled him only slightly which was exactly the case with the Tom Brady sketch.

      So Bravo ended up looking like (almost) some other black person and in Tom Brady’s case, very unflattering. The fact that this is a caricature which from its very nature exaggerates facial features made matters all the more worse. It does not however make the issue into a racial one at all. I reiterate that it is black people who are sensitive about earlier depictions of big lips taking it off the charts.

      The drawing is simply not the best resemblance of Bravo. Clearly, the artist wasn’t good or was an excellent artist but had a really, really bad day.

      Even the best artists, as Jane Rosenberg is, have bad days – even more so that most other people when it comes to getting their work right.

      So maybe, all Bravo’s fans should have a furor about is ‘what in earth happened to the artist!’ Bad Drawing Day, clearly. Maybe, just maybe, this can get Adidas to commission a far better piece. Where a ‘caricature’ is concerned, I think it’s Adidas’ right to decide whether the piece should be a caricature. A caricature is an ode to the subject – why it’s a very respected form of art and is done for the world famous personalities. It is a sign of acceptance into the halls of fame. On my opinion people need to step back and see why they’re making an otherwise positive thing negative (it’s the big lips etc) and realize that even in getting upset about that, they need to question why big lips upset then in the first place. Is it that it reminds them of a horrid past or both – that it reminds them of a horrid past AND they themselves don’t find big lips attractive at all.

      From what I’ve gathered here, the message that a lot of people are sending is that they don’t want to accept the fact that a lot of black people have big, fat lips. That is most disturbing if it is so.

      To make matters worse, most persons on this thread have no clue or appreciation for art and what it means. Recipe for disaster, clearly.

    • Linda Louison I agree with you that black people can be oversensitive about race. But I think, considering the history, it’s unreasonable to expect them not to be. I hope for a future where the impact of racism is left so far behind that black people don’t have to be sensitive about it anymore. But that’s not today.

    • Linda Louison I posted images of racist cartoons from the past. The Bravo caricature does in fact resemble them whether intentional or not.

    • There are many examples of racism in modern imagery, intentional or not.

    • I’m familiar with all the racist cartoons of the past. If black people are sensitive today, it’s still their problem to overcome. It doesn’t tie others down to doing everything our way. That’s like ‘walking on eggshells’ with people who have personality disorders.

      I agree that there are a lot of things that can be done to ease the constant stress that these people feel, but I’m not in agreement that this is one of them. In fact, I think that there are core things that must be overcome in getting over that bridge to a more beautiful place and self-love is one of them. Accepting the fact that many of us have big lips is a must, we cannot afford to keep stroking our egos to the point where we cannot feel good about big lips. Sorry.

      Again, I’m quite educated and very familiar with the imagery. I think you should close your mind to some of them at the very least. You know that saying about giving attention to things that give them life. When you ignore them you don’t give them a chance to fester.

      As we are at it, we also take time to self examine our own biased thoughts. Like how some of us laugh at Indian music. We are all practicing some form of bias towards others at times. Men need to stop coming with comments like ‘what do you expect, it’s a woman’.

      It makes no sense getting up on our high horses when we ourselves are not being unbiased to our own people.

    • Linda Louison You can’t be certain the caricaturist didn’t have subconscious racist influences. I wonder if you’re willing to say that you’re certain.

    • I already said it may be ‘suspect’. Read every single post I wrote. Thanks. ?

      Regardless of that, no need to take it as a fact that it MAY HAVE racist undertones. Never take as fact what isn’t crystal clear – why do that? You’re only messing up your mind more. Have a great day Erline.

    • Linda Louison What are you talking about “messing up my mind”? I just thought we were having a dialogue, which is something I like to do because it helps me clarify my thoughts on issues. If you agree that the drawing is “suspect” then you’re saying that whether the drawing is racist or not is debatable – therefore it’s reasonable that some people are offended by it. This is my position as well. So really what has the back and forth the last few hours been about?

    • I think some people like to have something to be upset about. If they think it’s reasonable to spend time figuring things out, just as I am spending patient time responding to your challenges, it’s your call.

      I’m not going to debate whether something is debatable or not. A statement about its debatability (my word) is not an invitation to debate it’s debatability for another four hours.

      When I said you’d mess up your mind more, I was speaking generally – I should have used the sentence: “One would mess up one’s mind even more” … I usually use the term ‘one’ but some people actually don’t use this term at all so I’m beginning to use it less and less. It’s a typical example however of people taking things ‘personally’, yet again!

      Life doesn’t need to be this difficult. AGAIN, have a great day Erline and RELAX! Life is great! ?

    • Linda Louison Why would you think I’m not relaxed? Do I come across as angry or upset? I would not like to think so. This is a cliche, but I think everyone’s entitled to their opinion. I don’t think however that there’s anything wrong with challenging someone’s opinion. Once you do it respectfully. As I said, I think debate is useful.

    • Cliche is being angry and upset. If you’re confusing the reference to relax then that alone proves you’re not relaxed.

      The only reason I continued debating with you is that you never lost respect as some of the people in this group love to do. The debate was definitely useful and yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

      Debating with you was enjoyable.

  6. This is all just speculation of course. I’m not certain either. I think we can all agree that this is a blunder, one you wouldn’t expect from a major company.

  7. It also suggests to me a certain amount of disdain for West Indians/cricket. Did they assign to Bravo a less competent marketing team and caricaturist? :/

  8. “The fact that you do not really see Bravo in this caricature is not a matter of racism but a matter of the artist not being good enough.” The problem with this comment is that – just like with the people who are arguing otherwise – you actually don’t know this. You can’t say it with certainty. I wasn’t trying to argue that the artist or Adidas was racist. I was trying to understand and explain the visceral negative reaction I and others had to the image upon seeing it, which is separate from the actual intention of the people who produced the image. I don’t think the artist was being deliberately racist of course, but racism doesn’t have to be deliberate. It can operate subconsciously, which I suspect happened in this case both on the artist’s part and on the part of the decision-makers who looked at that image and didn’t have a problem with it.

  9. I’ve already defended my viewpoint and anything said further would just be repeating myself but I will offer up one more thing which only strengthens my previous point.

    The fact that you do not really see Bravo in this caricature is not a matter of racism but a matter of the artist not being good enough.

    Without much resemblance of course one would only notice the most prominent features of the person, be they white or black. Has nothing to do with racism. I already pointed out that there are tons of caricatures of white people with extraordinary exaggerated features. Adidas cannot help that Dwayne is black, if he were white you would see the kind of examples I posted.

  10. But it does appear that the thread has run its course.

  11. Linda Louison It’s not a matter of having patience. It’s being able to defend your point of view. It’s a good exercise to have to do that.

  12. Linda Louison You voluntarily (I assume) commented and made post after post!

  13. Not even recognizable as Bravo. A bad caricature in my opinion.

  14. That is soooo like the condescending racial caricatures made of colored people from the slavery days and the heyday of the Klu Klux Klan. Insulting!

  15. Refer to Nicole Ulerie’s last comment. I run out of patience (and time). I do have a life, sorry. ?

  16. Nicole Ulerie yuh know!! ? rotfl

  17. Apparently none of you know what a caricature is! It’s supposed to be a cartoon depicting a hugely exaggerated prominent physical feature. We all know Dwayne Bravo for his huge smile and great big pearly whites. That’s all this is. Gosh people stop being so damn sensitive about petty shit.

  18. Linda Louison What? So we’ve stopped communicating in full sentences now? :/

  19. Aye. Some ah allyuh here ha reeeaaalllll patience inno. Whe sah

  20. Why the ass they didn’t do a caricature of Maria doping sharpova

  21. I think that’s the problem. You’re not seeing Bravo in that Adidas image. You’re just see black features exaggerated.

  22. Anyone familiar with my posts on FB knows I don’t jump on the race bandwagon. But I do see why people are offended in this case. A good caricature captures the essence of a person. There’s no Bravo in that drawing of Bravo. It does look like the shifty stereotype you saw in racist cartoons in the past. With a “skin teeth” plastered on his face rather than a genuine smile.

  23. Looking at some more Adidas caricatures. Seriously, why did they do such a shoddy one of Bravo? This one actually looks like what a good caricature of Bravo would look like. He would have a cricket ball in his hand instead of a basketball.

  24. No why should painting them draw a negative reaction? You obviously don’t appreciate art.

  25. Sports people are seen as heroes. To seem like you’re painting them otherwise would draw a negative reaction. A sports gear company of all organizations should know that.

  26. Linda Louison Why don’t you answer my question? I’ve searched Adidas caricatures and it seems they were shoddy and insensitive towards Bravo.

  27. ???? Isn’t there a first time for everything? Aren’t you glad that a black man was chosen to be the first to be caricatured?

  28. Are these caricatures you’re posting from Adidas? I need to see other caricatures from Adidas to make a fair comparison.

  29. ..Bravo now moving to #championshoes..? Bought one today at Payless Grand Bazaar..

  30. to quote Shaw: “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.”
    Take win Linda Louison

  31. Just because that as makes Virad in some people’s eyes look better? That it’s photoshopped? Sigh

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