Breaking rank literally, Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday become the first sports personality to come out in support of Delhi University student Gurmehar Kaur over the views she expressed through her Facebook posts, which got her embroiled in a huge controversy.
"The freedom of expression is absolute and equal for all. High time we learnt that and practised it daily in every sphere of life," tweeted Gambhir along with a video, which was retweeted by Gurmehar Kaur.
Interestingly, all the athletes who have spoken about the incident, have taken positions different to that of the left-hander. In fact, Gambhir's former opening batting partner Virender Sehwag and Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt were accused of mocking and bullying the 20-year-old student.
The Phogat sisters - Geeta and Babita - too supported the views of fellow wrestler Dutt on the matter.
Gurmehar has been trolled over her online campaign against the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) student body after last week's violence at Ramjas College in Delhi.
On Sunday, Sehwag had posted his photo, holding a placard which read "I did not score two triple centuries, my bat did". The tweet triggered a deluge of reactions.
The former India opener's tweet appeared to be in response to the student's earlier Facebook post that gained major traction on social media networks. In a video post, she had appealed for peace between India and Pakistan with messages on placards, one of which said, "Pakistan did not kill my dad, war killed him'.
The 20-year-old has been given police protection after she alleged rape threats over her posts against the ABVP.
On Tuesday, Gurmehar pulled out of a march by teachers at the Delhi University students against campus violence.
In a series of tweets, Gurmehar said, "that's all I can take", but appealed to others to join the "Save DU" march in huge numbers. "To anyone questioning my courage and bravery. I've shown more than enough," she wrote.