The world of sports commentary is littered with gaffes – sometimes hilarious and sometimes downright offensive. A few months ago Golf commentator Kelly Tilghman was suspended after making an offensive remark about Tiger Woods. In 2006 the cricket commentator Dean Jones was sacked for referring to South African Muslim batsman Hashim Amla as a “terrorist”. The latest gaffe occurred on May 15  on BBC Radio when the New Zealander Jeremy Coney said this about one of the New Zealand cricket team:

“[Ross Taylor] is not a New Zealander” and “He’s from a Pacific Island, but I don’t know which one”

Coney’s remarks were offensive and ignorant. Taylor was born in Lower Hutt which is a town just north of Wellington – as Coney should know as he comes from Wellington himself. Taylor is of mixed race – his father is a white New Zealander (Pakeha) and his mother an immigrant from Samoa. There had never been the slightest doubt that Taylor is as much a Kiwi as anyone else in the NZ squad (and, for that matter, as Coney). Whether Coney retains his place on the BBC after revealing such ignorance and prejudice on the air we shall see!

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