Former New Zealand player and an all-time Kiwi great Ross Taylor has stunned the world with revelations regarding his experience with racism. Taylor has made these claims in an autobiography that was released on Thursday. The right-handed batter who had a 16-year international career in New Zealand cricket has opened up on the existence of racism in the Kiwi setup for the first time.
Ross Taylor belongs to the Samoan heritage and has accused New Zealand cricket team officials of passing racist comments as casual dressing room banter. Taylor has been one of the talismans of New Zealand cricket and is highly regarded. The claims that Taylor has made disappointed many people in the nation and they have termed it as an unfortunate experience he had to go through.
“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. In many ways, dressing-room banter is the barometer. A teammate 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“, writes Taylor in his book.
Since 38-year-old Taylor hails from a Samoan background, people assumed him to be a Maori or of Indian heritage. Taylor further revealed that the dressing room banter at times was hurting and disrespectful but he had to make peace with it, just to represent his country on the international level.
“In all probability, a (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 a 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. 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“, writes Taylor.
A New Zealand Cricket spokesperson told the New Zealand Herald newspaper that the national body “deplores racism, is a staunch supporter of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission’s Give Nothing to Racism campaign, and is deeply disappointed Ross has been exposed to this type of behaviour
(Inputs from PTI)