Former Australia all-rounder Dan Christian has come out and said that racism in Australian cricket is “not in your face” but it is very much prevalent in the nation’s cricket culture.
Christian, who has played 19 ODIs and 16 T20Is and is only one of the six indeginous players to have featured at the international level for the country, said that racism in Cricket Australia exists in ‘casual form.’
“I think (racism) is an issue in Australian cricket,” Christian said on Cricket Australia‘s Cricket Connecting Country. I don’t think it’s in your face as you might see elsewhere around the world or even elsewhere in Australian culture, but it’s definitely there,” the all-rounder said.
“It’s more of a casual racism. Little throwaway lines here and there that are made to be jokes. And a lot of that, for me personally, has been around the colour of my skin and the fact I don’t look Aboriginal, whatever that means. That’s the most noticeable thing for me,” he added.He went onto add that while awareness and education are important, it is equally important to call racism out in public.
“We just need to educate ourselves and encourage others around us to educate themselves. And part of that education is calling it out and having the guts to call it out. That’s the hardest thing; to not just let it go and pretend it didn’t happen. Confront someone when you hear about it and encourage your friends and people around you to call it out as well.”After the ‘Black Lives Matter’ came to the fore, Christian himself received a lot of messages which included several apologies.
“I’ve received a lot of messages in the past few months from people I’ve played with and against that have said ‘sorry if I’ve ever said anything to you that you’ve been offended by’,” he said. “(The messages read) ‘I’d love to know some more about your personal story, your family story, things that I can do in the community that I can try and help out’.So from that perspective, I think it’s been a wonderful thing to have happened, to be able to have that conversation and for people to want to make change.”