Healy under fire for breast cancer gesture

Published: Friday, February 9, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Melbourne:Former Test star turned television commentator Ian Healy was forced to apologise for making an insensitive gesture as Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds spoke about breast cancer.

Healy, who earned 119 Test caps as Australian wicketkeeper, pretended he was playing a violin as Symonds explained in the commentary box that he was playing with a pink bat grip in order to raise awareness about breast cancer.

Channel Nine reported its switchboards around the country were swamped with calls from viewers outraged at the gesture.

Healy denied he was making light of breast cancer.

"I was winding Andrew Symonds up to talk about his pink grip, you know, we've got these massive big blokes using pink grips on their bat and that was the wind-up," Healy told Channel Nine on Friday.

"As he got into his promotion of the scheme I did the air violin as people are calling it now.

"People have perceived that to be me mocking breast cancer, now no one in the world would mock breast cancer research or breast cancer."

Breast cancer is a sensitive issue in the Australian team as fast bowler Glenn McGrath's wife Jane has battled the disease.

Healy said he did not need to apologise to his former teammate.

"I don't feel the need to talk to Pidgey (McGrath), I know Jane wouldn't have taken that personally and wouldn't have drawn that perception," he said.

Channel Nine reported that Healy's apology had been accepted by the station and his commentary job was secure.


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