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Dublin: 8 °C Wednesday 29 January, 2020

Australian footballer calls for better education about race after blackface tribute

A mother painted her son’s skin brown to resemble the player.

AN AUSTRALIAN FOOTBALLER has called for better education about race after a blackface tribute to him was widely criticised.

AFL player Nic Naitanui, who is of Fijian heritage, made the comments after a mother painted her nine-year-old son’s skin brown to resemble him.

She posted an image of the child on Facebook, saying he had won a prize at his school for dressing up as his sporting hero.

In a since-deleted Facebook post, the Perth mother said she was worried about painting her son’s skin because of “politically-correct extremists”, but decided to do so anyway.

WAtoday reports that the original post said of her actions: “[My son] is pastey white and if I just sent him in a wig and footy gear, no one would tell who he was. So I grew a set of balls and painted my boy brown.

“After being told by everyone on Facebook not to do it and it’s a horrible idea etc, my son won the f***ing parade!”

NAITANUI Nic Nic Naitanui Source:

Blogger Constance Hall, on whose Facebook page the woman posted the photo, received a backlash and death threats.

She said she didn’t believe the woman was behaving maliciously, but described the decision as “ill informed” and said she didn’t condone blackface.

Hall said she deleted the mother’s post as blackface was “hurtful to our indigenous brothers and sisters”.

In a later post, the mother said she had been called “every single name under the sun, labelled as something I’m not”.

Naitanui said he didn’t believe the mother had “any intention to cause harm”, but needed to “reflect” on her actions.

“It’s a shame racism coexists in an environment where our children should be nurtured not tortured because they are unaware of the painful historical significance blackface has had previously.”

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Órla Ryan

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