West Indies cricket star Dwayne Bravo said he accepted an apology from the artist and creator of a controversial Adidas caricature of the athlete, which was since taken down. However, Adidas has made no further comment on the issue and did not issue a joint statement.
Tellingly, Bravo did not give his own impressions or feelings about Adidas’ caricature, which was done to congratulate him on his 300th wicket. Instead, he claimed to have asked the company for an explanation on behalf of his fans.
“When my fans hurt, I hurt,” stated Bravo.
The IPL star suggested that unnamed members of Team Adidas were now wiser to the sensitivities of the Caribbean. At no point was the word “race” mentioned.
“Having spoken to members of the Adidas team, I am confident they now understand not just the source of much upset,” said Bravo, “but the historical context (particularly that of the West Indies) behind it.
“I have received what I believe is a heartfelt, sincere apology from the artist and creator of the image and I have accepted it.”
Adidas made its own statement, via Twitter, within hours of posting the image: “We see Bravo’s caricature has upset many. Apologies to those whose sentiments got hurt, this wasn’t intended. He’s our Champion. #teamadidas”
The following is Bravo’s full press statement:
I am forever driven by the love and support of my fans around the world. I am fortunate enough to have a vast, diverse and multicultural fan base that spans the globe and I credit a large part of my successes to each of them and I thank them all.
It is for this reason that when my fans hurt, I hurt.
Having spoken to members of the Adidas team, I am confident they now understand not just the source of much upset, but the historical context (particularly that of the West Indies) behind it.
I have received what I believe is a heartfelt, sincere apology from the artist and creator of the image and I have accepted it.
I trust that we can all learn lessons from this, including those of cultural sensitisation, forgiveness and understanding.
I live by these values and hope that we can all focus on the positive and unifying elements of sport and entertainment that have made and continue to make us all true champions.