NEW ZEALAND: Following his retirement from international cricket earlier this year, Taylor, who is of Samoan descent on his mother’s side, wrote in his autobiography ‘Ross Taylor Black & White In New Zealand’, the sport was “a pretty white sport.” The player reported seeing prejudice in the locker rooms, which was probably taken as “banter” by those involved.
“Cricket is a white sport in New Zealand. According to sources, I’ve been an outlier in a vanilla lineup for a large portion of my career, Taylor said in an excerpt from his essay. That has its difficulties, many of which aren’t obvious to your team members or the general cricketing populace. Given the glaring lack of Polynesian characters in the game, it shouldn’t come as a surprise when people mistakenly believe I’m Maori or Indian.”
“The conversation in the changing room frequently acts as a barometer. Ross, you’re a wonderful guy in part, but which part? Was something a teammate used to say to me. You don’t understand what I’m getting at, I said. I was fairly certain that I did. Other gamers also had to put up with comments made against their race.”
“In all likelihood, a Pakeha [white New Zealander] hearing such remarks would consider them harmless banter. Although he is hearing it as a white person, he is not the target audience. As a result, no one objects, and no one corrects them. The targets are then responsible.”
“You consider getting them up, but you hold off out of concern that you will create a bigger argument or be accused of using the race card by converting a friendly talk into racism. Although it’s easier to develop a thick skin and let things go, is that the best option?”
Taylor has discussed racially “insensitive” experiences while working with the New Zealand squad and in other writings.
A representative for NZC stated that: “NZC strongly opposes racism and supports the NZ Human Rights Commission’s “Give Nothing to Racism” campaign. Ross’s exposure to this kind of behaviour has severely saddened NZC. We will undoubtedly contact Ross to talk about the situation.”
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