The Human Rights Commission is urging everyday New Zealanders to stand up to racist sports fans and players.
“Athletes and fans who abuse players because of the colour of their skin have already lost,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.
“Their racism belongs in the past and has no place on our sports fields and sidelines.”
Responding to allegations of abuse at a rugby game in North Canterbury last weekend, Dame Susan says racial slurs in sport happen and it’s “not good enough to say they’re random or only happen in the heat of the moment.”
“All of us – not just officials – are responsible for standing up to people who use racism to try to win in sport. Everyday New Zealanders can make a stand whether they’re playing rugby in North Canterbury, soccer in Seatoun or a 1st XV game in the suburbs,” said Dame Susan.
“Sport is a powerful vehicle to push through important social messages and this is a huge area where our sporting bodies can also step up and stand up to racial abuse in sport.”
“If you use racism to try to win on the sports field: you’ve already lost.”
Learn more about race relations here.