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'Not Acceptable' Australia's Long Battle With Racism In Sport

AFP News
By AFP News
January 12, 2021 • 22:39 PM View: 472

Veteran Indian spinner Ravi Ashwin said it wasn't a new problem for visiting teams, claiming he had been on the end of "nasty" abuse across four tours to the country, with Sydney the worst.

"This has been a continual thing at Sydney, I have personally experienced it as well," he said.

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"If I take myself back to my first tour in 2011-12, I had no clue about racial abuse and how you can be made to feel small in front of so many people. 

"And the people actually laugh at you when you get abused, I had no idea what this was about.

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"When I stood at the boundary line you wanted to stand another 10 yards in to keep yourself away from these things... this is definitely not acceptable."

The Australia team had formed a "barefoot circle" ahead of the four-Test series against the cricketing powerhouse to demonstrate opposition to racism and celebrate Aboriginal culture.

Cricket Australia strongly condemned the weekend incidents, as did Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who said: "There is no place for racism in Australia. We are a tolerant country and the most successful multicultural nation in the world."

But it has been an issue in Australian sport stretching back decades, on and off the field.

Former Australian Test star Usman Khawaja has previously said he was abused so much growing up that he refused to support the national side, and claimed racism once even played a role in selections for the team.



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