Christian slams casual racism

Indigenous cricket star Dan Christian has slammed the casual racism that exists in Australian society and called for the nation’s leading sportspeople to ensure it’s stamped out.

Currently starring for the Sydney Sixers in the BBL, Christian said if the Indian cricket team’s claim that racist comments have been made from the SCG crowd during the third Test were proven correct, it would be “absolutely disgusting”.

“We’ve got a problem with casual racism everywhere in society, so I think as sportspeople it is a role of ours to be quite vocal about it and to be role models in that space and try to stamp it out,” said Christian, a Wiradjuri man who in 2009 captained an Indigenous Australian cricket team that toured England.

“It’s not just an Australian cricket problem, it’s an Australian society problem.

“Everyone’s got to take responsibilities for it, but us people in the public eye have got a responsibility to lead from the front.

“I’m sure once all the details are out with what happened in Sydney I’m sure (Australian cricket captain) Tim Paine and the guys will come out and say that they’re against it.

“If what has happened has been racist comments then that’s absolutely disgusting and should be stamped out for sure, and I’m sure everyone will get behind that.”

India allege abuse at the SCG was racially motivated after six members of the crowd were escorted out of the venue on Sunday: #AUSvIND

Christian said he had never been the target of racist abuse from a cricket crowd, but that heckling from some BBL crowds, particularly in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia, was “pretty ordinary”.

Christian’s comment came as NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian denied Australia had an inherent racism problem.

“I do believe it rears its ugly head from time to time and we always need to be vigilant because it only take as handful of people to really start a process that can be very concerning,” Berejiklian said.

“And that’s why we have to be vigilant against any comments, against any actions, even though it’s conducted by only a very small minority of people, unless you put a stop to it, it can get hold.

“I don’t believe it reflects Australia or reflect it is vast majority of Australians, quite the opposite. I think we have a proudly multicultural nation, one of the best in the world.

“But when it does rear its head, we need to clamp down on it immediately to make sure people understand that has no place in Australia.”

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