Cricket Australia (CA) has responded after Dan Christian was targeted with disgusting racial slurs.
Christian, a proud Indigenous man who has played 19 one-day internationals and 16 T20s for Australia, received vile messages from trolls on social media questioning the authenticity of his heritage.
“We are deeply disappointed to see blatantly racist and uneducated comments in the aftermath of Cricket Connecting Country’s premiere last night,” CA said in a statement.
“While 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.
“Comments like these demonstrate just how far we still have to go.”
Australian women’s star Alyssa Healy also took aim at the slurs, writing on Twitter: “This sort of stuff is the very reason that these conversations need to keep happening … keep up the good work @danchristian54!”
CA has referred the matter to its Integrity Unit and to Twitter.
The social media trolling comes a day after Christian spoke on a Cricket Australia panel show about how he has experienced “casual racism” throughout his cricket career.
The all-rounder is one of just six Indigenous Australians to represent their country and said “ignorance” was largely responsible for problems around cultural and racial awareness.
“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 said on Wednesday.
“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.
“It‘s just something that comes with a lack of education and an ignorance. I don’t think a lot of people say it with any kind of malice, it’s just that they don’t understand and don’t know.
“We just need to educate ourselves and encourage others around us to educate themselves.
“And part of that education is calling it out and having the guts to call it out. That’s the hardest thing; to not just let it go and pretend it didn’t happen. Confront someone when you hear about it and encourage your friends and people around you to call it out as well.”
Along with 35 limited overs appearances for Australia, Christian has played 83 first class games and 119 List A matches.