Gautam Gambhir slams Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag and Kapil Dev for endorsing tobacco

Gautam Gambhir recently expressed his strong disapproval of Indian cricketers endorsing ‘Pan Masala’ during an interview with News18. The former cricketer used two powerful words – “disgusting and disappointing” – to summarise his reaction to this practice.

Gambhir emphasised that the influence and responsibility that come with being a role model for millions of children should outweigh the allure of financial gains. In support of his argument, he revealed an interesting anecdote about Sachin Tendulkar, stating that the cricketing legend had turned down a lucrative offer of INR 20 crore for a ‘Pan Masala’ advertisement.

Gautam Gambhir expressed his strong disappointment and disgust, emphasising the importance of selecting role models carefully. He stressed that fame should be earned through actions rather than mere reputation and highlighted the significant impact of millions of children observing their every move. According to Gambhir, money should not be the sole driving force behind endorsing products with potential health implications.

He shared a personal anecdote from 2018 when he declined a tempting offer of INR 3 crore upon stepping down as captain of the Delhi Capitals, believing in receiving what he deserved.

“It’s disgusting and disappointing. That is why I say, choose your role models carefully. One gets recognised not by their name, but by the work they do. Crores of kids are watching. Money is not that important that you will end of doing a Pan Masala ad,” he said.

As Gautam Gambhir stressed the importance of carefully selecting role models, he pointed to the example of Sachin Tendulkar. Tendulkar, having made a promise to his father not to endorse any alcohol or tobacco brands, turned down a lucrative offer of 20-30 crore rupees per year. Gambhir highlighted Tendulkar’s decision as a testament to his status as a genuine role model.

Gambhir’s comments, however, were not received well by a section of social media users. Some of them reminded him that the former cricketer used to promote the whisky brand Royal Stag with the catchline – “Make It Large”.

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Updated: 14 Jun 2023, 01:52 PM IST

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