Rugby: All Black Codie Taylor urges more awareness about racism in NZ

All Black Codie Taylor has encouraged more open and honest dialogue about the realities of racism in New Zealand.

The protests and riots across the US sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police last week has seen a number of high-profile sportspeople step forward to acknowledge the injustice and highlight the broader issue of racism in society.

On Wednesday, hooker Codie Taylor pointed out that such issues extend far beyond US shores.

"It's pretty well known that America's going through some pretty rough times but I personally think it's everywhere," Taylor says.

"Racism isn't just in America, it's all around the world."  

On Monday, "pissed off" Nigerian-born Kiwi UFC world champion Israel Adesanya took a defiant stand at Auckland's Black Lives Matter protest, addressing the thousands in attendance to say he's "seeing those faces get killed".

Taylor - who's of both Māori and Pākehā descent - says it's critical that such high-profile people stepped up to voice their opinions and shine a spotlight on such issues. 

"It's awesome that people and public figures are really trying to step out and make it more of an awareness so that we can change," he notes.

"It's pretty moving to see that people want change and I think the more we can make people aware, the more chance we have of that happening.

"It is everywhere. It's not just a certain race or culture, but it's something that needs to be addressed a bit more to make change."

Taylor's All Blacks teammate Josh Ioane was one of many to post a black square on his Instagram page for the #BlackOutTuesday movement, but not before the Highlanders back did some research of his own.

"I did read up a little bit on that black solidarity stand. I have been following the George Floyd (situation)," Ioane said.

"I guess my reasoning for posting was just to support the movement of stopping racism all over the world. And, I guess, create an awareness around racism.

"I definitely see those athletes leading the way with that stuff."