IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore has come to Virat Kohli’s rescue after the Indian cricketer and RCB skipper was deemed a “hypocrite" by social media users over an alleged display of fireworks on his birthday earlier in November.
Kohli has been facing hate online after he posted a Diwali message on social media in which he asked Indians to celebrate Diwali without bursting crackers. While netizens first dug up videos of his RCB teammate Shubham Dubey engaging in a fireworks display, now a birthday video for Kohli by RCB is being trolled.
The video in question was compiled and shared by the RCB family on Virat Kohli’s birthday on November 5 by way of greeting him.
Happy Birthday Captain KohliHappy faces and positive vibes. The RCB family put together a special video to celebrate King Kohli’s birthday at 12 midnight. ❤️#PlayBold #IPL2020 #WeAreChallengers #Dream11IPL pic.twitter.com/ViaI9eItDV
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) November 5, 2020
While the video was sweet enough, cracker enthusiasts and trolls soon dug up the fireworks used in the birthday video-montage and called out Kohli for his “hypocrisy" after he posted a message on social media to go cracker-less this Diwali. The trolling was so much that it seems RCB took it upon himself to respond to the controversy.
“To clarify, the fireworks shown in RCB’s recent celebratory video was archival footage of UAE’s Flag Day celebrations. RCB continues to work hard to protect the environment like we’ve over the years," the franchisee wrote in its tweet.
Given that there was no apparent outrage over RCB’s more recent Diwali tweet, which also showed celebratory fireworks (stock footage or otherwise), the team’s Monday tweet is being seen as a direct response to Kohli’s trolling because of the footage RCB used while celebrating Kohli’s 32nd birthday in UAE.
Hope you are all enjoying a happy and peaceful Diwali with family and friends. To clarify, the fireworks shown in RCB’s recent celebratory video was archival footage of UAE's Flag Day celebrations. RCB continues to work hard to protect the environment like we’ve over the years.— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) November 16, 2020
Kohli, in his video message, wished the fans and said: “A very happy Diwali from me to you and your families. May God bless you with peace, prosperity and happiness this Diwali. Please remember do not burst crackers, protect the environment, and have fun at home with your loved ones with a simple diya and sweets on this auspicious occasion. God bless you all, take care.”
Since his tweet, Kohli has been subjected to massive trolling online. While irked netizens vented their anger through various hashtags, Kohli’s fellow RCB teammate Shivam Dube’s Diwali celebrations with firecrackers added fuel to fire as Twitterati further took sarcastic jibes albeit at Kohli’s expense.