This is one of many uncomfortable conclusions to be drawn from Cricket Australia’s first attempt to reckon with its past and present mistakes in dealing with Indigenous players and issues of race more generally.
It takes the form of a series of discussion panels under the banner of Cricket Connecting Country that will air on the governing body’s digital platforms on Wednesday night, hosted by the CA board director Mel Jones.
In a discussion featuring two noted experts on race and culture in Nyadol Nyuon, a commercial litigator with the Melbourne law firm Arnold Bloch Leibler, and Janine Mohamed, chief executive of the Lowitja Institute dedicated to Aboriginal health, the Indigenous Australian cricketer Dan Christian catalogued the extent of casual racism he had experienced, largely around ignorant critiques of his Aboriginality based on his appearance.
“I think it is an issue in Australian cricket, I don’t think it’s as ‘in your face’ as you might see around the world or even elsewhere in Australian culture,” Christian told the panel. “I think it’s definitely there, it’s more of a casual racism, just little throwaway lines here and there, made to be jokes and a lot of that for me personally has been around the colour of my skin and the fact that I don’t look Aboriginal or whatever that means. That’s the most noticeable thing for me.