Sailor: “Here we are in 2020 and we are still talking about it and still trying to make a change”
Wendell Sailor speaks exclusively regarding the racist abuse he experienced during his caree, the Black Lives Matter protests, and more…
‘Big Dell’, is a Brisbane Broncos legend, a huge opponent and an strong winger, who was a hard worker and prolific try-scorer.
He represented Australia in both Rugby League and Rugby Union World Cups. At the 2000 Rugby League World Cup, he was the top try-scorer and player of the tournament as he helped guide the Kangaroos to win the prize.
He opened up for the first time about the racist abuse he has encountered throughout his life.
“People know what I’ve been through because I’ve done articles on it time and time again, but I think for me this is pretty big.
“I don’t want to go back naming teams or naming players, but since I was seven or eight, I’ve had it (racist abuse) in football, I’ve had it out of football.
“It still happens.” BLM is something that Sailor admits has affected him and his family and says he can’t believe race is still a problem in 2020.
“For me, because I’m of indigenous background, it’s been tough. I have a young daughter, two sons. It’s just so close to home.
“I see it happens in the Premier League to some of the great black soccer players. The NBA, it happens in the NBA.
“It’s gut-wrenching to see, especially when you have young kids and you just want it to change, and you think it is going to change.”
Sailor spent almost 10 years playing for the Brisbane Broncos in Australia’s top rugby league competition, before switching codes in 2001.
“I played against Martin Offiah, Jason Robinson, you know Kris Radlinski and I would have some sledging matches, but nothing about colour.”
“When I was younger – I’m 45 now – I thought it was going to change, but here we are in 2020 and we are still talking about it and still trying to make a change. It breaks my heart.”