Interview ‘Quite often I’m the only black person’
world works, it’s the society we live in. I don’t really have a problem with it. It’s just the way it is and I accept it for the way it is, and kind of enjoy it. It’s not a bad thing, if that makes sense.
“[The players] spoke to me when everything was happening, when the riots went down and the rest of it, they messaged me and spoke to me generally, and then obviously things like [squad dynamics] came up. It wasn’t off the back of the podcast, they realised themselves and spoke to me about it.”
Nearly all of Bath’s players took a knee before facing Northampton – apart from Semesa Rokoduguni, a lance corporal in the Army – and Obano has been perplexed by the insults that Premiership players opting not to do so have received on social media.
“I sit on Twitter sometimes and think, ‘How do people get so upset with these things over people you don’t know’?
“I don’t think anyone should receive abuse, ever. We can have constructive conversations about why someone has done something.”
On the field
Obano is flying, and the 25-year-old believes his performances are even better than when he was close to a first cap for England in 2018, before he was ruled out for nine months by a serious knee injury. Under instructions from club and country, he used lockdown to drop some weight. He would fast until 2pm and then stop eating by 10pm, a routine he maintained for three months.
Obano was back training with England during the Six Nations and is still waiting for his first cap, but his performances since the restart have put him back in the picture. With their pack and defence thriving, Bath have reeled off three straight wins since the restart, bullying their way into the top four ahead of facing play-off rivals Wasps today. Belief within the group is building.
“I struggle to see how people would work so hard if we didn’t think we could win the title, with the way we are working and training,” Obano says. “We are doing so much good work that I think everyone believes it.”