Earlier in an interview with a media house, Neeraj had made a comment about his hasty first throw was due to the fact that he could not find his javelin until he saw Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem holding it.
Right after this interview, a video went viral on Twitter which showed Nadeem with Neeraj’s javelin. Neeraj later made a statement on Twitter that his comment was twisted by the people who had an agenda–spreading hate between nations.
” I would request everyone to please not use me and my comments as a medium to futher your vested interests and propaganda. Sports teaches us to be together and united. I’m extremely disappointed to see some of the reactions of the public on my recent comments.”
Chopra and Nadeem are very good friends. They share a very good relationship outside the court. The two even sat next to each other on the bus on their way to the finals.
Neeraj’s statement received a lot of support from the sport fraternity. The latest figure to have come out in support of his statement was Olympic bronze medallist Bajrang Punia who mentioned that athletes should be respected irrespective of their nationality.
“Whether the athlete is from Pakistan or any other country, he represents his nation. He is a sportsperson first. So it’s not like we’ll say something against that person because he’s from Pakistan. There should be respect for athletes.” (H/N: Times of India)
Athletes should not be discriminated. Bajrang mentioned that they leave the competitive spirit inside the stadium once they are out, they are cordial with each other.
“I haven’t seen Neeraj’s video, but sport teaches us how to remain united, instead of discriminating. When I meet wrestlers from Russia, USA, it’s always very cordial, it doesn’t feel like we are rivals; we are all like brothers. The competitive spirit is on the mat only.” (H/N: Times of India)
Olympic medallist and wrestler Sakshi Malik is also very disapproving of the situation. She urged all sports fans to understand that athletes do not share any sort of hatred amongst them off-field.