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New Zealand National Football Team Might Change Their Nickname Over Racism Fears

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New Zealand National Football Team Might Change Their Nickname Over Racism Fears

By Stewart Perrie

The New Zealand national football team are looking into whether they need a new nickname.

They have been known as the 'All Whites' for decades, however in this age of brand sensitivity, officials are worried there are negative racial undertones associated with a nickname like that.

NZF chief executive Andrew Pragnell said (via Sky Sports): "As part of our Delivery and Sustainability Project announced last year, we are in the process of working with stakeholders across the game, as well as people from outside football, looking at all areas of the organisation to make sure they are fit for purpose in 2021 and beyond.

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"It is too early in the process to speak about any outcomes but this is an important piece of work as we strive to be the most inclusive sport in Aotearoa."

The football team first gained the nickname back in 1982 when New Zealand landed in the World Cup final for the first time.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

New Zealand's national colours are black, red and white and considering the national rugby union side had already claimed the nickname All Blacks, it was only fitting for the football team to get All Whites to match their jerseys.

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However, as the Black Lives Matter movement had a massive resurgence last year, many companies, groups and brands were forced to confront their namesakes.

Food and drink labels like Coon Cheese or Colonial Beer switched up their names to ensure they weren't offending anyone in the future.

Similarly, the Cleveland Indians changed their branding to the Cleveland Guardians.

The team's website stated: "To protect, to keep watch, to defend. For Clevelanders, this is a way of life. We fight together for what we believe in. And if we get knocked down, we pick each other right back up and keep fighting.

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"We're resilient, hard working and loyal - to this city and to each other. That's what it means to be Cleveland Guardians."

Now it's New Zealand's turn and they will be doing a lot of thinking over how they might rebrand.

NZF chief executive Andrew Pragnell cited Te Tiriti o Waitangi when outlining how they wanted to shift away from 'All Whites', which was a treaty signed between the British Crown and Māori chiefs signed in 1840.

It helped give Māori people ownership of their lands and other properties and also gave them the same rights as British subjects.

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Mr Pragnell said the football club 'is on a journey around cultural inclusivity and respecting the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: New Zealand, Football News, Racism, Football, Australia

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