Indian cricketers Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh have unleashed a social media storm by lending support to former Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi’s charitable foundation in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan both posted their appeals on Twitter, requesting people to donate to the cause. Yuvraj asked people to look out for each other, especially the less fortunate ones. Both of them praised Afridi for working hard in these testing times.
“These are testing times, it’s time to look out for each other,” Yuvraj wrote on Twitter in a call for funds.
These are testing times, itâ€™s time to lookout for each other specially the ones who are lesser fortunate. Lets do our bit, I am supporting @SAfridiOfficial & @SAFoundationN in this noble initiative of covid19. Pls donate on https://t.co/yHtpolQbMx #StayHome @harbhajan_singh pic.twitter.com/HfKPABZ6Wh
â€” yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) March 31, 2020
Harbhajan urged people in a video message to contribute, and called on two other cricketers Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar to make similar appeals.
The world is passing through extremely testing and unprecedented times.Letâ€™s do our bit to help @SAfridiOfficial @SAFoundationN doing gr8 work plz join hands with them nd contribute what ever u can https://t.co/t9OvfEPp79 for covid19 @wasimakramlive @YUVSTRONG12 @shoaib100mph pic.twitter.com/sB2fxCAQqY
â€” Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) March 29, 2020
Shahid Afridi also appreciated their efforts and thanked them for sending out a message that love transcends all borders.
Thank you for all you support-both yourself & my brother @harbhajan_singh are huge pillars of support; this bond we have shows love & peace transgresses borders when it comes to humanity especially. Best wishes to you with your noble endeavours with @YOUWECAN #DonateKaroNa https://t.co/IVhqywdl3q
â€” Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) March 31, 2020
Little did they know their tweets will touch a raw nerve in India, where citizens even have a grudge if a sports star speaks in favor of a noble cause in relation to Pakistan.
So sorry and shameful to feel that i used to be your fan .. 🙁
â€” Aparna ðŸŒ¼ (@AppeFizzz) March 31, 2020
â€” Patrakar Popatlal (@Toofaanexpress) March 31, 2020
Bhajji!When I was a young girl,I met all of you in Delhi,joined you for the cake cuttin,got your autograph,you joked with me n kept my wallet in your blazer pocket…from that day I kept that sheet as my prized possession!But today you have broken my heart!
â€” Sujata Ganguly ðŸ‡®ðŸ‡³ (@Sujataganguly13) March 31, 2020
They all will sell their motherland for their fraternity with cricketers. First Siddhu then Yuvraj/ Harbhajan. Shameful.
â€” Dharmic Nationalist ðŸ•‰ï¸ (@HelloNNewman) March 31, 2020
Unfortunately during this undue criticism, Indians failed to realize that these sports stars must have donated to campaigns in their own country as Yuvraj mentioned his foundation YOUWECAN. They also fail to recognize that humanity has no religion and amidst a crucial situation like this when the whole world is suffering, we should not bicker about trivial matters.
Yuvraj Singh also responded to the backlash, expressing disappointment on this overreaction.
“I really don’t understand how a message to help the most vulnerable gets blown out of proportion! All I tried to achieve via that message was to help people in our respective countries by providing healthcare,” he wrote.
â€” yuvraj singh (@YUVSTRONG12) April 1, 2020
Shahid Afridi also came out in support of Yuvraj and Harbhajan, and shared that is “very sad to see simple messages of humanity getting misunderstood!”
Very sad to see simple messages of humanity getting misunderstood! We r ambassadors for Love & peace ,
Truly value the support extended by @YUVSTRONG12 & @harbhajan_singh for coming forward & urging people to #DonateKaroNa #HumanitybeyondBorders https://t.co/x5Uo5GUNp5
â€” Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) April 1, 2020
At a time like this when the world needs to be united, it is unfortunate that some people across the border still believe in intolerance.