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Cricket in New Zealand is a pretty white sport: Ross Taylor

Updated on: 12 August,2022 08:10 AM IST  |  Wellington
AP , PTI |

“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”

Cricket in New Zealand is a pretty white sport: Ross Taylor

Ross Taylor


Recently retired Test batsman Ross Taylor said in an autobiography released on Thursday that he experienced racism during his 16-year-old career in New Zealand cricket. Taylor, who is of Samoan heritage, describes racist locker room “banter” and casually racist comments from some New Zealand team officials. “Cricket in New Zealand is a pretty white sport,” Taylor wrote in his book, entitled Black & White.


“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.”

People’s assumption


The 38-year-old Taylor said many people assumed he was of Maori or Indian heritage because Pacific Island representation in New Zealand cricket is so rare. He said locker room banter sometimes was racist and hurtful, but he was concerned that raising the issue might make the situation worse. “In many ways dressing-room banter is the barometer,” Taylor wrote. 

“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.” He said other players also had to put up with comments that dwelt on their ethnicity.  “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,’” Taylor said.

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“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. 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?”

Former coach’s comment

Taylor said a former manager and coach of the New Zealand team made comments that were unintentionally racist.

The manager told Taylor’s wife, Victoria, that in his experience players of Maori and Pacific Island heritage have problems managing money and offered his assistance.

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