"Subtle cock champion of the world"
Badminton star Saina Nehwal has reacted to an apology made by Siddharth following his controversial tweet towards her.
The actor had tweeted about her, leading to backlash, with some calling his remarks “sexist”.
On January 5, 2022, Saina had raised concerns over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s convoy being stopped on a flyover in Punjab’s Bathinda as the road was blocked by protesting farmers.
She had said: “No nation can claim itself to be safe if the security of its own PM gets compromised.
“I condemn, in the strongest words possible, the cowardly attack on PM Modi by anarchists.”
This prompted Siddharth to retweet her post and say in a now-deleted tweet:
“Subtle cock champion of the world… Thank God we have protectors of India. Shame on you Rihanna.”
This led to criticism among activists.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) urged Twitter to block Siddharth’s account for the “sexist” tweet.
Other activists said his comment was misogynistic and told him to apologise.
Saina said at the time: “Yeah, I’m not sure what he meant. I used to like him as an actor but this was not nice.
“He can express himself with better words but I guess it’s Twitter and you remain noticed with such words and comments.”
In a follow-up tweet, Siddharth said he did not intend to disrespect anyone.
He said: “Cock and bull. That’s the reference. Reading otherwise is unfair and leading. Nothing disrespectful was intended, said or insinuated. Period.”
Siddharth later apologised to Saina in a lengthy open letter.
He wrote: “Dear Saina, I want to apologise to you for my rude joke that I wrote as a response to a tweet of yours, a few days ago.
“I may disagree with you on many things but even my disappointment or anger when I read your tweet, cannot justify my tone and words.
“I know I have more grace in me than that. As for the joke… If a joke needs to be explained, then it wasn’t a very good joke to begin with. Sorry about a joke that didn’t land.
“I, however, must insist my wordplay and humour had none of the malicious intent that so many people from all quarters have attributed to it.
“I am a staunch feminist ally and I assure you there was no gender implied in my tweet and certainly no intent to attack you as a woman.
“I hope we can put this behind us and that you will accept my letter.
“You will always be my Champion. Honestly, Siddharth.”
Saina Nehwal has now reacted to the apology, stating that the matter is “about women”.
She also wondered why Siddharth changed his stance.
The badminton player said: “He only said it and he is now apologising.
“I was surprised to see myself trending on Twitter that day. I haven’t spoken to him but I am happy that he apologised.
“See, it is about women, he shouldn’t target a woman like that but it’s okay, I am not bothered about it, I am happy in my space and god bless him.”