Cricket Australia has slammed online trolls as “uneducated” after all-rounder Dan Christian was targeted for speaking up about “casual racism” in cricket.
Christian is one of just six indigenous people to play for Australia at international level.
He took part in a panel discussion this week, ‘Cricket Connecting Country’, commissioned by the governing body. The panel’s purpose was to encourage more Aboriginal people to play cricket and address issues like racism.
Christian told the panel that he had faced the problem first-hand.
“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 a casual racism.”
His comments saw two Twitter users question his Aboriginality based on his appearance. One stated: “How can someone who looks white be discriminated against?”
CA tweeted on 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.”
“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,” Christian said. “That’s the most noticeable thing for me.”
He added that he had never seen any training around cross-cultural awareness from any organisation in his 15 years of experience.
Christian played 19 one-dayers and 16 Twenty20 internationals for Australia.