Dan Christian, the Australia all-rounder, has opened up on racism in Australian cricket, claiming it is not “in your face as you might see elsewhere” but is still prevalent.
Christian, who has represented Australia in 19 ODIs and 16 T20Is and is only one of the handful of Indigenous players to have featured at the international level for the country, claimed that racism in Australian cricket takes a ‘casual’ form with “little throwaway lines here and there”.
Detailing the racism he has faced in cricketing circles, Christian said that it was “around the colour of my skin and the fact I don’t look Aboriginal”. He went on to add that while awareness and education on the matter are important, focus should also be placed on calling racism out rather than just pushing it under the rug.
“I think (racism) is an issue in Australian cricket,” Christian said on Cricket Australia‘s Cricket Connecting Country. “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 I don’t look Aboriginal, whatever that means. That’s the most noticeable thing for me.
“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.”
Christian also recalled receiving messages of apology after the Black Lives Matter movement brought the problem of racism in cricket to the fore.
"To be honest, I think cricket is rife with racism. The issue you have in cricket is that the people running the game don’t care about the Black people in it, it’s as simple as that."
— Wisden (@WisdenCricket) June 10, 2020
“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.”