‘Would you make a vegan player eat a chicken?’ Pat Cummins fires back at ‘captain climate’ critics while admitting he HATED his first day as Australian Test cricket skipper
Aussie Test cricket skipper Pat Cummins has fired back at critics calling him a hypocrite because of his environment beliefs, saying he is not the only player to push back against sponsors because of their convictions.
Cummins is being blamed by many for Alinta Energy ending its $40million sponsorship deal because of his role as the head of Cricket for Climate, an organisation helping local clubs install solar panels.
Cummins has been called a host of things for his climate stance, including woke, Captain Climate and Captain Planet
He has also been vocal on the subject of climate change, leading many to blame Cummins for Alinta’s decision to walk away as a major sponsor.
However Cummins has fired back, saying many players have openly defied sponsor-related directives because of their beliefs without incident.
Australian opener Usman Khawaja elects to not wear the Victoria Bitter sponsor logo on his kit because of his Muslim faith and its opposition to alcohol.
‘In my 12 years in the Australian team, I’ve seen 10 instances when players don’t want to be involved with things like KFC, or they don’t drink alcohol, or they’ve done an ad three years in a row for a sponsor and they think it’s a bit cheeky asking for a fourth year,’ Cummins told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Khawaja (centre) does not wear the Victoria Bitter logo on his uniform because his religion forbids alcohol and Cummins said there were many other instances like that in the squad
He used Sydney Thunder and Australian limited overs leg-spinner Adam Zampa, who is vegan, as an example.
‘If they made ‘Zamps’ eat chicken at a KFC, is he going to get hounded?’ Cummins asked
‘Just eat a chicken! Just eat a chicken!’
Cummins has also been targeted as a hypocrite by climate sceptics, who point to his international travel in fuel-guzzling airliners and his $9.5million luxury home in the beachside suburb of Bronte in Sydney.
‘Flying around the world, sometimes on chartered planes worrying about the environment, yeh ok,’ one fan posted.
Zampa is vegan and Cummins said the attacks on him were like people trying to force the leg-spinner to eat a chicken
‘Is the team taking a sailing ship to England? ‘ asked another
Yet another asked: ‘Do Tesla make 747’s yet?’
However Cummins said players could care about the environment without having to go fully off the grid to make a difference.
‘Some of these things, I’m passionate about. I don’t think it’s irrational. I don’t think I shout it from the rooftops. In the climate space, I’ve tried to change a few things in my life,’ he said.
‘It’s a really divisive topic – and I can’t understand why. We’ve all got one planet, if you think you can do one thing better, that’s a good thing.
‘Doesn’t mean you have to live in a cabin in the woods to care about the environment.’
Cummins talks strategy with Australian coach Andrew McDonald during the Pink Test against South Africa at the SCG
Cummins also recalled his first match playing as Test skipper and how it all started to go horribly wrong in his first over.
‘I hate this,’ he thought to himself.
‘I think I’ve made a mistake.”That first spell was terrible. I didn’t bowl particularly well. My mind was worried about field placements and other things.
‘Then I bowled another spell, and I was fine. But it made me understand why other people thought I shouldn’t take the captaincy on.’
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