Ex-Black Caps batsman Taylor reveals racism experience during playing career

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Ross Taylor is New Zealand's all-time run scorer in both Test and ODI formats
Ross Taylor is New Zealand's all-time run scorer in both Test and ODI formats

Former New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor has revealed he experienced racism during his career in his home country, from both team-mates and officials.

The middle-order right-hander, who hung up his gloves at the start of this year, is the all-time record run scorer in Test and ODI cricket for New Zealand and also the nation's most-capped player across all formats with 450 appearances to his name.

But now Taylor, who is of Samoan heritage, has spoken out on his experiences with racist "banter" in the locker room and casual racism from some Black Caps officials.

"Cricket in New Zealand is a pretty white sport," the 38-year-old has written in his autobiography, Black & White. "For much of my career I've been an anomaly, a brown face in a vanilla line-up.

"That has its challenges, many of which aren't readily apparent to your team-mates or the cricketing public. In many ways dressing-room banter is the barometer.

"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.

"In all probability a [white New Zealander] listening to those sorts of comments would think, 'Oh, that's OK, 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 – then the onus falls on the targets.

"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. It's easier to develop a thick skin and let it slide."

A spokesperson for New Zealand cricket said the organisation "deplores racism" in a statement to the New Zealand Herald, adding: "We'll definitely reach out to Ross to discuss the matter."

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