A video of a bodybuilder angrily throwing away the prize he won in a competition is circulating widely on social media. In the opening of the video, the contestant is asked to stand in one corner of the stage. This prompts him to take off his medal, and hurl the prize offstage. He then kicks it repeatedly. The accompanying caption states, “No matter how talented you may be, you will only be recognized by your caste”. In other words, social media users are alleging that the man in the video is being discriminated against due to his caste. It is worth noting that this comes against the backdrop of a slew of recent incidents of caste-based discrimination and violence.
Anamika Gautam, who claims to be associated with the Bahujan Samaj Party, tweeted this video with a similar claim. It had racked up more than 9,60,000 views at the time of this article being written (Archived link)
— Anamika Gautam BSP (@Anamika78609341) January 4, 2023
Facebook user Vikas Gautam also amplified this video with a similar claim. It amassed over 29,000 views. (Archived link)
Another Facebook user by the name of ‘Mulnivasi RK Bharti’ also shared the footage with the same claim. (Archived link)
Alt News performed a reverse image search using frames taken from the viral video. This led us to a video report covering the incident by Bangladeshi news channel My TV Bangladesh dated December 27, 2022. The outlet mentions in the title that a bodybuilder was seen kicking his award and describing the federation as ‘thieves’.
According to My TV Bangladesh, Jahid Hasan Shuvo, a Bangladeshi bodybuilder, threw and kicked his award several times after getting second place in a competition. Following the outburst, the Bangladesh Bodybuilding Federation (BABBF) called a meeting and imposed a lifetime ban on Shuvo. Criticizing the move, the bodybuilder took to social media and called the federation ‘thieves’. The report also mentions that netizens were divided on the bodybuilder’s actions, with some coming out in support, and others expressing their disapproval.
Alt News noticed that Indian media outlets also covered this incident from Bangladesh. Among them was Aaj Tak, which reported that Jahid Hasan Shuvo tossed his prize after coming second in the National Bodybuilding Championship. In addition, while speaking to the media, he alleged that the match was fixed. (Media report 1, Media report 2)
Sharing a longer video of the incident, Shuvo claimed that this was a slap on the face of the federation of thieves. This video is longer than the viral footage in which the bodybuilder ultimately ran out of the venue while shouting.
চোর ফেডারেশনের চেহারায় লাথিটা কেমন হলো..? 🖕🖕🇧🇩😂😂
Posted by Jahid Hasan Shuvo on Friday, 23 December 2022
Speaking to Bangladeshi sports channel ‘Sports 24’ on December 25, he issued an apology for his behaviour.
To sum it up, the man seen kicking a prize offstage in this viral video is actually a bodybuilder from Bangladesh, who did so in protest of being awarded second place in the competition. Footage of the incident was falsely shared on Indian social media with a caste angle.
Independent journalism that speaks truth to power and is free of corporate and political control is possible only when people start contributing towards the same. Please consider donating towards this endeavour to fight fake news and misinformation.