Cricket Australia Blasts ‘Blatantly Racist’ Abuse of Dan Christian

After all-rounder Dan Christian was criticized for speaking against "casual racism" in the sport, an irate cricket Australia blasted online trolls as "uneducated."

Christian, one of only six indigenous people to play internationally for Australia, participated this week in a panel discussion entitled "Cricket Connecting Country," commissioned by the governing body, reports AFP.   

Christian told the panel that he had encountered the problem firsthand, with the goal of motivating more Aboriginal people to play cricket and resolve issues like racism.

“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,” said the 37-year-old. “It’s more of casual racism.”

His comments saw two Twitter users question his Aboriginality based on his appearance, with one saying: “How can someone who looks white be discriminated against?”

CA tweeted late Thursday that it was “deeply disappointed to see blatantly racist and uneducated comments”.

“Whilst we have chosen not to name the publisher of these comments publicly, we want to strongly reinforce that any form of racism or discrimination has no place in cricket, sport, or wider society,” it added.

“Comments like these demonstrate just how far we still have to go.”

Christian, who played 19 one-dayers and 16 Twenty20 internationals for Australia, told the panel that one of the topics that hurt most was focusing on his skin colour.

“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,” he said.

“That’s the most noticeable thing for me.”

Christian added that he had never seen any teaching from any cricket organization on cross-cultural knowledge in his 15 years in the game.

“That’s one thing we could at least do to raise some awareness and educate people within our sport,” said Christian, who has played for the likes of Hampshire and Middlesex in England and several franchises in the Indian Premier League.

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