Home / Volley / Cricket / Bravo: I accept Adidas’ apology; says he felt “fans hurt” but mum on own feelings

Bravo: I accept Adidas’ apology; says he felt “fans hurt” but mum on own feelings

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.

Photo: West Indies cricket star Dwayne Bravo (centre) dances with air hostesses after victory in the World T20 cricket tournament final match against England at The Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium in Kolkata on 3 April 2016. (Copyright AFP 2016/Indranil Mukherjee)
Photo: West Indies cricket star Dwayne Bravo (centre) dances with air hostesses after victory in the World T20 cricket tournament final match against England at The Eden Gardens Cricket Stadium in Kolkata on 3 April 2016.
(Copyright AFP 2016/Indranil Mukherjee)

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”

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

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.

Photo: West Indies cricket star Dwayne Bravo (right) on duty with the Chennai Super Kings.
Photo: West Indies cricket star Dwayne Bravo (right) on duty with the Chennai Super Kings.

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.

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97 comments

  1. He knows where and by whom his bread is buttered.. Enuff to ensure a classic display of class and diplomacy

  2. The Caricature of the Athlete was in Poor Taste.

  3. Professionals are called to be emotionally intelligent and I commend Bravo for handling this issue professionally. No need to get into a public spat. . .his response was well thought of and calculated.

  4. Why in God’s name does he have to tell the public about his own feelings on it? That’s nobody else’s business. That question is just looking for bacchanal now.

    • If one of your business associates did a drawing of you, would I be out of place to ask you how you felt about it? Really?
      I would think you could simply answer the question or not as is your right. Any reporter would not be doing their job if they didn’t ask the question.

    • It’s fine to ask about it. It’s not fine to imply or infer (“tellingly”?) from his failure to answer. It’s none of our d*mn business. If he answers, fine, if it’s not, move on.

    • Bravo’s initial statement was that he would make a release on the matter and he thanked fans for alerting him to it.
      Then he responded without ever saying how he felt. So that was odd. Maybe “tellingly” wasn’t the best word. But if it isn’t our business why make a public statement at all?

    • He can make a public statement without having to talk about his feelings on the topic. And being questioned for not doing so. That is really unfair.

    • We are really in the business of asking questions Dan. Not mollycoddling.
      Sometimes it works in the athlete’s favour like when we are questioning the WICB. Sometimes it works against the athlete like awkward questions they may wish go away.
      I don’t think it is a improper question to ask at all or a malicious inference. Ironic too after that caricature. But we can agree to disagree.

    • Fine. Ask. But making insinuations based on a failure to answer isn’t “tough journalism”. With all due respect (you know I love your work) its just petty.

    • The insinuation is “tellingly”? What do you get from that insinuation?

    • Why was the word included? And why do you concede it may have been poorly chosen?

      It insinuates that he should explain his own feelings.

    • And you find it petty that I insinuated he should give his feelings on a caricature that he issued a public statement on.
      And that’s why I said we can agree to disagree. I intentionally draw notice to the fact that he did not give his own feelings but only claimed to be speaking on behalf of his fans.
      I conceded that there might have been a better word. But not that it was petty to call attention to that fact.
      I’m sure that all people who issue press releases just want the media to publish it verbatim and keep quiet. I don’t see that as my job.

    • It is not news that he wants to keep his personal feelings to himself. It is not news to insinuate without asking that there must be some deeper or hidden reason for it. Far be it from me to tell you how to do your job. But I suppose if journalists can do it then they can’t be immune from the same criticism.

    • I’m not immune from criticism. When a minister or anyone else is asked a question and says “no comment.” We publish the fact that they said no comment.
      It highlights that they did not wish to answer a particular question, even though it is their right not to answer.
      Here, I highlighted Bravo’s decision not to state his own feelings. Nothing more or less.
      Can you explain why Bravo’s situation should be different?

    • Because a ministerial opinion is necessarily in the public interest. A sportsman’s feelings on something concerning him that others took offence to are not. They are vastly different situations.

    • You have a narrow view of the public interest. Everything a minister does isn’t necessarily a matter of public interest. In the same way, I don’t believe that everything a sportsman does is not in the public interest.
      As I suspected quite some time ago, we are best agreeing to disagree.
      And, to be clear, I certainly don’t accept the charge of it being petty that I pointed out that Bravo didn’t answer the one question that everyone must have had.
      Later Dan…

    • I am absolutely lost as to Dan’s assertion here.

    • That’s ok. Lasana and I agreed to disagree.

  5. He must have decided to let it go because in the sporting world you never know what may come your way so better to be safe. I feel he knew and choose to act the way he did.

  6. Maybe he just felt US$10Million richer?

  7. He had to approve it for it to be released, so now he can’t go back on the consent he gave to Adidas. Just goes to show money + fame does not amount to class.

  8. Apparently money talks louder than hurting fans.

    Bravo: “me masa say me good boy. He doh hits me unless me’s deserve it..he’s knows best.”

    Bravo covertly said that he did hurt Lasana. He said that when his fans hurt, he hurts. He seemed to have been disturbed by the offensive image. Note, the artist apologised, not the Company.

    This was a good opportunity to bring Nike into cricket. The reality of what went on these past few days will be manifested at the end of the sponsorship contract. If Bravo stays with Adidas, then all was well, if the relationship ended, then we’ll know that all was not well.

    Both Bravo and T&T is underestimating his influence in the East. His has a strong fan base in India, who can be quite influential on foreign products. It all comes down to what was in the contract, and if there were any termination clauses, and what were the terms.

  9. Why isn’t Dwayne saying how he felt ?

  10. Caricature- “a picture, description, or imitation of a person in which certain striking characteristics are exaggerated in order to create a comic or grotesque effect”, first definition in Google. ? When you click images after googling “caricature” you get an interesting array.

    I wonder what a “racist” caricature of a “white” person looks like? Is there is such a thing?

  11. Classy response! Bravo killed the noise with diplomacy. Moving on…

  12. Excellent response, Bravo! No need to go down the low road to appease those who are/were screaming racism, buffoonery and the like. Bravo, you kill it with class. Your diplomacy was on point.

  13. I think it very unlikely that he didn’t see it beforehand Chabeth.

  14. DJ Bravo! Champion champion lol

  15. Bravo showing diplomacy to appease both his fans and his sponsor. Not to shabby bravo

    • You can’t serve two masters. He pleased his sponsor more. Lol

    • For good reason, don’t damn the bridge that…he gave the politically correct response. You are a Champion Bravo.

    • Yep. Trinis never let a thing like principle get in the way of a good meal when food is on the table. 😉

    • Aww, don’t be so hard on him. Adidas now knows what not to do in future. All it takes is collaboration, communication.

    • Hopefully “lessons were learned”

    • I personally think this was blown out of proportion and what really do u expect him to do Lasana Liburd? Scold his sponsor and possibly lose his contract over a caricature? Come on!

    • Yep. Nothing else matters more than that right? Lol.
      Look this is Trinidad. Nothing special about knowing where your bread is buttered.
      I understand. I don’t have to applaud though.

    • Lasana is has nothing to do with where ur bread is buttered…. what in that is cause for a huge drama? U will leave a sponsor over that?

    • You mentioned his sponsorship deal. If he thinks his sponsor did wrong, then make them apologize.
      If not, leave it alone. He kinda tried to go in between.
      Adidas isn’t the only sportswear company. If he doesn’t think he can get another, then that is a different matter.
      His statement said he approached Adidas because his fans were hurt. Not him but his fans.
      But adidas didn’t release anything saying they felt this way or that after hearing from Bravo on his hurt fans.
      So what was the point?
      Don’t mind me anyway Shari. I tend to read too closely for my own good sometimes.

    • Because maybe he doesn’t have a problem. More than likely he saw the caricature before it became an issue. It’s not the norm for a sponsor to drop material without approval. So his response could not be an apology or a demanding of an apology for something he probably approved and have no issue with. So it was more to say… ok… i heard u… but its cool.

    • Exactly. And that’s his right. I accept people the way they are. So long as they aren’t offering me a 6 and saying it is a 9. 😉

    • We have absolutely no idea what happened in the background. We have no idea if his team now gets input on how he’s depicted. We have no idea if anyone was fired. We don’t know who’s actually behind the cricket account and what conversations were had. And really, what more can Adidas say?

      I wasn’t thrilled with the depiction at all, but I don’t think I know enough about the situation to demand a different response. His response was diplomatic and I see nothing wrong with it.

      Appearing to storm off isn’t a good look either.

    • That’s why I like to stay on safe ground and speak about what I do know. Which is the cartoon and the two statements from Adidas and Bravo.

    • I’m referring to your reaction in this thread, not the article. Unless I’m misreading you, you feel that he’s copped out.

    • I know you are Nicole. And I’m saying I am responding to what I see and not speculating about what may or may not have happened. Just as some people are speculating as to whether Bravo might have seen the image before it was published.
      I wouldn’t say he copped out. He might not have been offended at all or couldn’t care less. That’s his right and I won’t deny him that.
      My belief is the statement is a waffle that doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
      To be brief, he doesn’t say he felt impacted by the image at all or that Adidas erred at any time; but, regardless, he speaks to Adidas on behalf of faceless fans who do feel “hurt” and, with no confirmation from Adidas, he claims that Adidas employee (not company) feels sorry about hurt that Bravo doesn’t feel but his fans feel for something that nobody says was an error.
      And, based on that, I think maybe they should not have bothered with the release at all.
      It is patronising. Something to make the worked up people sleep well tonight. If you think no wrong was committed, then just let the initial Adidas retraction stand and move on in my opinion.
      But that’s just me. I’m not trying to speak above the din here at all.

    • Lasana Liburd I read that sarcasm. Touché my brother. Lol

  16. It’s the Trini way anyhow. Shrug your shoulders and take the shaft. Lol. Ask the electorate.

  17. I find it hard Adidas runs a campaign and Bravo did not sign off on it before hand….whay says you Lasana Liburd

  18. Exactly. Not everyone is a Bill Russell, Lilian Thuram or Tommie Smith.

  19. What’s racial insensitivity between million dollar partners? Lol.

  20. Clearly Adidas doesn’t care and Bravo isn’t especially bothered either. So all’s well that none of the principle parties cared too much about in the first place anyway. 😉

  21. Adidas should still put out a better apology and as Kendall Tull said… Still no idea if Bravo knew about and/or approved the image before it was published…

  22. I would have forced a proper PUBLIC apology or called Nike or Puma. But that’s just me. And I can’t bat, bowl or sing! Lol.

  23. Lawyers, lawyers, lawyers. Adidas admitted no wrong, he didn’t admit any hurt. No harm, no foul, no liability. All contracts still secure!

  24. Lol..i’d stay mum too, and pray this story disappears. What a pickle