Former New Zealand legend Ross Taylor has released his autobiography, Ross Taylor: Black and White. An excerpt of the book was printed in the ‘New Zealand Herald’ and makes a shocking revelation. Ross Taylor, the Test player who represented the Kiwis side for 16 years said that he faced racism playing cricket for New Zealand. He mentions being targeted by different people in the cricket community. Moreover, he emphasized how the racist remarks in the dressing room were considered ‘banter’ by the white players. Polynesian community’s underrepresentation often led to him being believed to have a Maori or Indian origin.
Shocking revelation on racism in New Zealand cricket by Ross Taylor
“Cricket in New Zealand is a pretty white sport. For much of my career, I’ve been an anomaly, a brown face in a vanilla line-up. That has its challenges, many of which aren’t readily apparent to your teammates or the cricketing public. Given that the Polynesian community is dramatically under-represented in the game, it’s probably no surprise that people sometimes assume I’m Maori or Indian,” said Taylor in a piece published in the New Zealand Herald.
“In many ways, dressing-room banter is the barometer. A team-mate used to tell me, ‘You’re half a good guy, Ross, but which half is good? You don’t know what I’m referring to.’ I was pretty sure I did. Other players also had to put up with comments that dwelt on their ethnicity.”
“In all probability, a Pakeha [white New Zealander] listening to those sorts of comments would think, ‘Oh, that’s okay, it’s just a bit of banter.’ But he’s hearing it as white person and it’s not directed at people like him. So, there’s no pushback; no one corrects them. Then the onus falls on the targets, he added. Ross Taylor also said, “You wonder if you should pull them up but worry that you’ll create a bigger problem or be accused of playing the race card by inflating harmless banter into racism. It’s easier to develop a thick skin and let it slide, but is that the right thing to do?”
New Zealand Cricket spokesperson gave a statement to New Zealand Herald
“NZC deplores racism, is a staunch supporter of the NZ Human Rights Commission’s ‘Give Nothing to Racism’ campaign, and is deeply disappointed Ross has been exposed to this type of behaviour. We’ll definitely reach out to Ross to discuss the matter.”
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