Sam Kerr and the big problem with 'reverse racism'.

"Stupid white bastard."

These are the three words Matildas captain and Chelsea Football Striker Sam Kerr allegedly said to a British police officer back in January 2023.

Watch: Tony Armstrong on racism in Australia. Post continues below.

Video via Network Ten.

The same three words triggered former Socceroo Craig Foster to call on Football Australia to strip Kerr of her captaincy to show how seriously the sport takes "racism".

And those same three words resulted in Kerr being charged with "racially aggravated harassment".

While the majority of the conversation online has been heavily in Kerr's favour, it does bring us back to the question that's always raised whenever a white person's whiteness is brought up: Does reverse racism exist?

And let's not waste time by sugarcoating things. No, it does not.

In fact, labelling the altercation as a racist incident undermines the experiences of those who have truly encountered racism. 

"But isn't that a double standard?"

Racism seems like a fairly straightforward concept. 

Many of us have been taught to not show prejudice towards a person because of their racial and ethnic background — however, the root cause of racism is far more complex.

Racism goes beyond a person's skin colour, the language they speak and the food they eat at home. Instead, it's about the imbalance of power.

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, "Racism is the process by which systems and policies, actions and attitudes create inequitable opportunities and outcomes for people based on race… It occurs when this prejudice — whether individual or institutional—is accompanied by the power to discriminate against, oppress or limit the rights of others."


In countries like Australia and Britain, there is a continuing lack of diverse faces in political, social and economic positions, and our institutions are made up of predominantly white people.

The people in power create policies with white people in mind, which often leaves people of colour at a disadvantage. 

And yes, it's worth noting that there are plenty of white people who suffer from these policies, such as those living below the poverty line, queer people and people with disabilities, but it's not because of their race.

Simply put, for reverse racism to exist, people of colour would have to assume control of institutions and use that power to oppress white people. 

"Okay, but what Sam Kerr said was still rude."

Yes, it was, and no one can deny that, however as offensive as it was, it was not racist.

White people can be called derogatory names that reference their whiteness. They can also face discrimination by people of colour, but calling it racist reflects a lack of racial literacy. 

It's also dangerous.

Often, we see far-right political parties like One Nation use reverse racism claims to fuel their desire to be racist, such as Pauline Hanson's "It's okay to be white" motion that she put forward in the Australian Senate in 2018.

While these moments are usually mocked and condemned, they lead to far more extreme consequences and often become crucial drivers for white supremacy terror attacks, like the 2019 Christchurch mosque shooting.

Kerr, a gay woman of colour, allegedly called a white, male cop a "stupid white bastard" which was rude no matter which way you look at it. But while reverse racism doesn't exist, it doesn't mean Kerr isn't going to face a tough time trying to get the charge dropped.

Feature Image: Getty.