14 Jan 2020

Man who racially abused Jofra Archer at cricket could become 'reformed racist' ambassador, Meng Foon says

5:48 pm on 14 January 2020

A man banned from cricket games after abusing a player could become a "reformed racist" ambassador for the race relations commission.

New Zealand's new Race Relations Commissioner, Meng Foon

Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon. Photo: supplied

Today, New Zealand Cricket announced a 28-year-old Auckland man has been banned from attending international and domestic cricket matches in New Zealand for two years.

The ban came after the man was identified as having hurled racist abuse at England fast bowler Jofra Archer at a test match at Mt Maunganui in November.

But Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon said the man had shown remorse, and could potentially work with the commission on their Say No To Racism campaign in the future.

"We're keen to help him... I'm keen to meet with him if he wants and we can chat things over," Foon said.

"He's a great example of being remorseful and maybe he could be fronting some of our projects - maybe as a reformed racist, like the mayor of New Plymouth, Andrew," Foon said, referring to former New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd.

Today, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) spokesman Richard Boock said he had spoken to the man, who he said was "very remorseful, accepting of the consequences, knew he'd done a stupid act and couldn't believe he'd been so silly".

England fast bowler Jofra Archer.

Jofra Archer. Photo: Photosport

The man would be subject to further police action if he breached the ban, NZC spokesperson Anthony Crummy said.

"We'd again like to extend our apologies to Jofra and the England team management for such an unsavoury incident and reiterate once more that this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable."

Spectators at all venues were encouraged to notify ground security of any anti-social behaviour, including racist taunts and abuse, using NZC's text alert system, he said.

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