Politicians are bound to make political gaffes every now and then, simply because of their propensity to make public addresses frequently as part of their job descriptions. No politician is immune from this, and Imran Khan’s latest political faux pas is only one in a series of politically inappropriate statements that the PTI Chief has made. The fact that he used the word ‘phateechar’ (low grade) in reference to the foreign players – even though the likes of Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels and Elton Chigumbura were in the teams – is only half the problem; his remarks about players being pulled from places like “Africa and others” is a borderline racist remark, even if he did not mean it as such.

Conveniently though, many of PTI’s ardent supporters have rushed to the defence of their leader, and have pinned the blame on the journalist that captured and subsequently leaked the video. Celebrity, actor and PTI supporter Hamza Ali Abbasi’s eight-minute video perfectly summarises this (paltry) defence. One of the major objections is that a “private conversation” should not have been leaked or televised, and there is merit to this argument, but that does not exempt Imran Khan from having uttered inappropriate remarks, in front of journalists no less. A politician is not a private individual, their right to privacy is often severely compromised, except it is by choice. Any statement made (private or otherwise) can easily come under public scrutiny, and even if the video had not been leaked, a written transcript might have instead emerged. Would this make the PTI Chief look any better? Doubtful.

Additionally, the fact that many of his support base think it is acceptable to make offhand remarks that border on racism in private conversation is problematic in the extreme. Condoning narratives in armchair discussion is what allows for them to move into public space.

And then there’s the classic misdirection – why must we focus on this when a million other issues of greater urgency are plaguing the country? The fact that PTI fans stated this and ignored their own ability to do just that – divert from issues of national importance – is heavily ironic and a logical fallacy to boot.

Finally, immediately going for the moral high ground is also something both PTI and its supporters should avoid. Stating that Mr Khan is not corrupt, and has done a lot for the country as both a politician and cricketer is really of no consequence. The good does not wash out the bad, and pointing to a person’s credibility as a humanitarian while ignoring everything is exactly why hero worship of politicians must not be encouraged – it promotes blind adulation.