Football’s All Whites face name change over racial overtones


WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) – New Zealand football is reportedly considering dropping the nickname “All Whites” from its men’s national football team because of its racial connotation.

Although NZF has not confirmed that it might reject the name, it says it is implementing various measures designed to improve its cultural inclusion. The national body reportedly sought feedback from stakeholders on a potential change.

The name “All Whites” has a relatively short history. It was first applied to the national team during its 1982 World Cup qualifying campaign when it first appeared in an all-white uniform.

Previously, the New Zealand team had played mostly in black shorts, a white shirt and white socks. He then adopted the white stripe and with it the nickname that riffed on the All Blacks, the name of the New Zealand rugby team that plays in all-black colors.

In a statement released on Monday, Managing Director Andrew Pragnell said “New Zealand football is traveling around cultural inclusiveness and upholding the principles (of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding treaty between the native Maori and the British crown).

“As part of our delivery and sustainability project, announced last year, we are working with football stakeholders as well as people outside of football, looking at all areas of the organization. to make sure they’re fit for 2021 and beyond.

“It’s too early in the process to talk about results, but it is important work as we strive to be the most inclusive sport in Aotearoa (New Zealand).”

Last year, Christchurch-based super rugby team the Crusaders were forced to remove a logo showing a knight wielding a sword, due to its reference to the religious crusaders of the Middle Ages. He chose to keep the Crusaders name due to fan opposition to a change.

Several professional sports teams in the United States are changing their names, with the Washington football team dropping their nickname and the American League baseball franchise from Cleveland will be known as the Guardians starting next season. Both had previous nicknames that were considered offensive to Native Americans.


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