The former New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor recently opened up on facing racism in New Zealand cricket during his playing days. Taylor had announced his retirement from international cricket earlier this year. The right-hander, who has Samoan heritage on his mother’s side, described in his book “Ross Taylor Black and White” how he and other teammates endured insensitive “banter” from white players.
Ross Taylor opens up on the matter
“In many ways, dressing room banter is the barometer,” wrote Taylor, who played his last international match in April. 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,” Taylor wrote.
“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.”
Ross Taylor further revealed that he felt conflicted with the string of incidents that transpired during his playing days.
“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,” the 38-year-old said. “It’s easier to develop a thick skin and let it slide, but is that the right thing to do?”
Taylor said a former manager and coach of the New Zealand team made comments that were unintentionally racist. Taylor has garnered more than 18000 international runs for New Zealand and he remains to be one of the greatest batsman in the cricketing history.