• Fox Sports' Matty Johns Show comes under fire for its 'Kids in Cars' segment. (AAP)
Fox Sports' Matty Johns Show has earned the ire of a rugby league player's wife and ex-great, who have called a segment disrespectful to Pacific Islanders.
Source:
AAP - SBS Wires
26 Aug - 6:16 PM  UPDATED 26 Aug - 6:58 PM

The wife of Cronulla prop Sam Tagataese and former Samoa and New Zealand international Nigel Vagana have blasted an Australian rugby league show for a segment that pokes fun of Pacific Islander names.

Ana Tagataese described the segment on Fox Sports' The Matty Johns Show as disrespectful and casually racist.

The 'Kids in Cars' segment featured children attempting to pronounce the Pacific Islander surnames and then parents laughing when they struggled to do so.

MORE NEWS:
Protest slogans sprayed on Sydney statues
NSW Police release an image of a male they believe may be able to assist with inquiries into the damage of a number of public monuments in Sydney’s CBD.
Rally for gay marriage draws thousands
Thousands of people in Melbourne have rallied in support of a 'yes' vote in the upcoming postal survey on legalising same-sex marriage.

"Although I believe no malice was intended during the Kids in Cars segment on your show, I do believe that having parents laugh with their children because they are unable to pronounce Pacific Islander surnames is completely disrespectful," Tagataese wrote on a Facebook post.

"Casual racism is not ok and I do not want my daughter, who goes to school, to have to tolerate it."

Vagana said the segment was insensitive.

"It's actually pretty disappointing that the script was screened; that someone came up with an idea that went through the processes and actually made it all the way to air without any thought that it might have been offensive to Pacific communities, people, players and their families," he told New Zealand website Stuff.

"The names are tied in with a lot more than just the individual on the field. It's the whole family.

"Stuff like that is not right and at some stage people have to be held accountable with the Rugby League World Cup coming up at the end of the year."

Vagana, who played 240 NRL games and represented Samoa twice and New Zealand 37 times, said he was disappointed that Australian networks still seemingly had so much trouble pronouncing Pacific Islander names in commentary.

"It's not like it's the first time names and the struggle to say them correctly has come about, but it just doesn't seem to be getting through to the right people that there are solutions out there if you really want them," he said.

Fox Sports was being sought for comment.