In 2014, Maria Sharapova became a topic of interest for Indians. And not in a good way.
In fact, it was probably in the worst way possible, the reminder of which the tennis player would get many times in the years to come.
*Year 2014*— Rahul (@iamRahul66) August 20, 2019
Maria Sharapova : "I don't know who is Sachin Tendulkar"
Indians to Sharapova : pic.twitter.com/49RAwyweGW
Anyhow, so it all started when, after a Wimbledon match, she was asked if she knew Sachin Tendulkar, who was present to watch the game.
To this, Sharapova bluntly replied, "I don't". These two words proved to be very costly for her as 1 billion Indians took serious offense to the matter.
Good - a telling off - Maria Sharapova 'Blasted' For Not 'Knowing' Sachin Tendulkar - Wimbledon 2014 News http://t.co/GFfMFJ4RJ4?— Mark Nixon (@markalannixon) July 3, 2014
People couldn't believe that Sharapova did not know about the God of cricket and went as far as demanding an apology.
The matter got so out of hand that Sachin had to address it himself. A report from Hindustan Times quoted him as saying:
Her comment (was) not disrespectful, maybe she doesn't follow cricket.
Now, while Sachin didn't make a big deal out of this, his fans swore never to forget it. And so, when Sharapova got involved in the doping scandal in 2016, the "knew it" comments started pouring it.
Sharapova was found guilty of taking meldonium, a substance that was banned by the tennis authorities. She said she wasn't aware of the rule and held a press conference for the same, but Indians didn't care much about that.
Who is Sachin Tendulkar?— Broken Cricket (@BrokenCricket) March 10, 2016
Well here is the answer!
God and Immortal of Cricket! pic.twitter.com/RvtCg5N96N
Though more recently, she got an apology from the Indians, after Sachin Tendulkar tweeted about the farmers' protests.
India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants.— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) February 3, 2021
Indians know India and should decide for India. Let's remain united as a nation.#IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda
The tweet was very similar to the one posted by many celebrities and people criticised the cricket legend for not taking a stand.
Few years back, we made a terrible mistake. Sorry chechi..☺️— Amalnath Sathyan (@AmalnathSathyan) February 4, 2021
Forgive us 🤗https://t.co/wnMFDT3WjU
Am the sorry sis..— Thomas Varghese (@Aprilborn1985) February 4, 2021
Am the sorry sis..
Our duplicate God has no balls.
We don't let go of things very easily, do we?