Dan Christian opens up about casual racism in Australian cricket

Christian feels education is the key to address this issue.

Dan Christian | GettyFormer all-rounder Dan Christian on Wednesday (September 9) opened up about the racism in Australian cricket, saying it is "not in your face but it is definitely there".

Racism has become a topic of global debate following the killing of George Floyd – a 46-year-old African-American, who died on May 25 in Minneapolis after Derek Chauvin, a white policeman, knelt on his neck for several minutes.

See Also: Daren Sammy says he ‘still considers Ishant Sharma his brother’ on IPL racism controversy

After that horrific incident, players and teams across sports have come together, supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I think (racism) is an issue in Australian cricket," Christian said on Cricket Connecting Country, a panel discussion commissioned by Cricket Australia about issues of race in the sport and Australian society.

"I don't think it's as in your face as you might see elsewhere around the world or even elsewhere in Australian culture, but it's definitely there.

"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 that I don't look aboriginal, whatever that means. That's the most noticeable thing for me." he added.

The 37-year-old, who has represented Australia in 19 ODIs and 16 T20Is, further said education is extremely vital to address this issue.

"We just need to educate ourselves and encourage others around us to educate themselves," he remarked. "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."

Recently, a lot of former and current cricketers revealed that they were subjected to racism while playing for certain teams.  

While former South African pacer Makhaya Ntini said he was "forever lonely" during his time with the national team, ex-West Indies skipper Daren Sammy claimed that he faced racist jibe while playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.

"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'," said Christian.

"(The messages said) '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 a change."

(With PTI inputs)


By Salman Anjum - 10 Sep, 2020

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