Mahoor Shahzad was criticized on social media yesterday when a video of her trended online where she was pointing out the outpouring hate she was receiving from badminton players back home, some of whom were Pathan, were jealous of her success and kept spreading fake news about her.
— Naimat Khan (@NKMalazai) July 28, 2021
Mahoor Shahzad then later posted a complete apology on her twitter page where she apologized for making such a racist statement and clarified that she was actually calling out the male critics in Pakistan who were saying that she was undeserving for going to the Olympics, and saying that her success was due to nepotism:
“I would like to apologize to my Pashtun brothers and sisters who were upset at the comments I had made in an interview. To me, all Pakistani’s are equal regardless of where they are from, and because I am here because of your prayers and faith in me. But I would also like for all of you to here my side of the story. On second June when it was revealed that I would be representing Pakistan at the Olympics opening ceremony, some badminton players began writing articles in newspaper to point out that I was undeserving of this accomplishment. Some of these male badminton players wrote extremely negative things about me as well as the Pakistan Badminton Federation and my father, by saying things like I was untalented and I did not deserve a spot at the Olympics, that my father had paid someone to earn me a spot so it was nepotism that got me here etc.”
However, Mahoor pointed out that she had been winning national championships for the past five players and had defeated many of the players who were now slandering her in the media:
“However, for the last five years I have been winning National Championships consecutively and I have defeated some of these men in competitions. Still I do not understand how it was my fault that made me a target of this sexist backlash from critiques. Another female badminton player also wrote articles in newspapers saying that she was more deserving of receiving an opportunity to compete at the Olympics, but in order to achieve a spot the Olympics Committee requires that players from the same country must be in the top sixteen rankings.”
Mahoor once again clarified that the negative press did not stop even while she was competing in the Olympics, and it was the stress and anxiety of the competitions that caused her to give such a statement, which she clarified was targeted at the people trying to tarnish her reputation:
Also, during the Olympics I became a target of senseless slander from these men who began causing me stress and anxiety. Which is the reason why I made this statement which was intended to target the people back home tarnishing my reputation. I would once again like to apologize to the Pathan community. I hope you will all forgive me.”
You can listen to her complete apology below:
Yesterday I apologised on my social media platforms formally as it was not possible to record a message.
Therefore, I recorded a video message as an apology to those who got hurt from my words.
Kindly watch the video and I hope the video will clear the misunderstandings! pic.twitter.com/iCZE5xUrzx
— Mahoor Shahzad (@OfficialMahoor) July 28, 2021