Ross Taylor, who used to bat for New Zealand, talked regarding racism in New Zealand cricket when he was a player. Taylor, who is known as one of the greatest batters in New Zealand’s cricket history, said earlier this year that he would stop playing international cricket. The right-hander, whose mother is Samoan, wrote in his book “Ross Taylor Black and White” about how he and his teammates had to deal with “banter” from white players that was hurtful.
“Other players had to listen to comments that focused on their race, too. If a Pakeha (a white New Zealander) heard these kinds of comments, they would probably think, “Oh, that’s fine, it’s just a joke.” But because he is white, he hears it as something that isn’t meant for him. So they don’t get any pushback, and no one corrects them.”
Taylor, who has scored more than 18000 runs for New Zealand in international games, said that the events made him feel upset.
The 38-year-old said, “You wonder if you should bring them up, but you’re afraid that you’ll make a bigger problem or be accused of playing the race card by turning harmless banter into racism.” It’s easier to get used to it and move on, but is that the right thing to do?
Taylor said that a former manager and coach of the New Zealand team unintentionally said things that were racist.
The manager told Victoria, Taylor’s wife, that players of Maori and Pacific Island heritage have trouble managing their money, and he offered to help.
Taylor said that the New Zealand men’s team’s former coach, Mike Hesson, who was in charge for six years starting in 2012, once told him, “My cleaner’s Samoan.” She’s a lovely woman who works hard and can be trusted.’
“Oh, cool,” was all I could say, Taylor wrote. “I’m sure that (the officials) and the guys who did the “banter” would be disappointed to find out that their comments fell flat.
“Let me be clear: I don’t believe for a second that they were thinking in a racist way. I think they were insensitive and didn’t have the imagination or compassion to see things from the other person’s point of view.
“What they think is harmless teasing is upsetting to the people who are being picked on because it shows them that they are seen as different. Instead of saying, “You’re one of us, mate,” the message really says, “You’re one of them.”