This study set within the superdiverse city of Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand examined how mainland Chinese first-generation immigrants and Pākehā (white New Zealanders) discursively understood each other in the context of sport and physical activity. Existing policy within Aotearoa/New Zealand is underpinned by the simplistic notion that social cohesion will be organically improved for culturally and linguistically diverse migrants if sport participation rates are increased for these people. This study contributes to the discussion of whether sporting involvement improves cultural understandings and enhances social integration. Data was collected via interviews with Chinese immigrants and New Zealanders (predominately Pākehā) and analysed through a theoretical framework, incorporating the ideas of Foucault and Derrida. First, from a western-centric perspective, we suggested that the workings of discourse construct Chinese first-generation immigrants and other Asian ethnic groups into ethnic ‘others’ that were subject to various forms of prejudice. Second, Chinese participants were often aware of how they were positioned via the workings of discourse but in response, at times, were ‘wilful’ to reject participation in sports that they thought were overly aggressive. The results illustrated that sport participation does not simplistically enhance ethnic and cultural understandings or produce acceptance of cultural diversity as policymakers hope to achieve. We argue that without specific policy strategies to help migrants participate in sport that affords them recognised benefits (i.e., cultural capital) in the dominant culture, the simplistic strategy of encouraging sport participation can be read as a technology of assimilation.