Alex Hales pictured in blackface as English cricket's racism crisis deepens

ECB confirms it is investigating what Hales claims was a fancy-dress tribute to the US rapper Tupac Shakur at a 2009 party

Azeem Rafiq, Alex Hales

11/19/2021 9:00:00 AM

ECB confirms it is investigating what Hales claims was a fancy-dress tribute to the US rapper Tupac Shakur at a 2009 party

ECB confirms it is investigating what Hales claims was a fancy-dress tribute to the US rapper Tupac Shakur at a 2009 party

The England & Wales Cricket Board confirmed it is investigating what Hales said had been a fancydress tribute to the US rapper Tupac Shakur at a 2009 party.It comes just days after Hales was forced to deny naming his dog “Kevin”, a racist slur against non-white people coined by Gary Ballance.

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He said of the blackface picture published by The Sun: “In 2009, I attended a New Year’s Eve musical tribute fancy dress party. I dressed in tribute to my musical hero, Tupac Shakur, someone who I’ve admired from childhood and, at the time, did not realise the offensive nature of this.

“I echo my statement from earlier in the week and stress how much I deplore racism and discrimination in all its forms.”The ECB said it had “procedures in place to address conduct and allegations of this nature and we will investigate accordingly”.Julian Knight, the chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport select committee which heard harrowing testimony on Tuesday from ex-Yorkshire bowler Rafiq, said: “This picture - coming on the back of a week when cricket was shamed like never before - is incredibly disturbing and offensive.

“The very soul of English cricket is now at stake.”Nick Lowles, chief executive of Hope Not Hate, added: “There is no scenario in which blackface is acceptable. To describe it as a ‘tribute’ is beyond reproach.”As revealed by Telegraph Sport, Azeem Rafiq told an investigation into the Yorkshire racism scandal that Ballance had routinely used the name Kevin as a term of abuse for non-white people.

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Telegraph Sport also disclosed allegations about how Kevin became linked with the name of another player’s pet dog and Rafiq told a parliamentary select committee on Tuesday that the player in question was former England opener Hales.Rafiq, who said the use of “Kevin” had been an “open secret in the England dressing-room”, told MPs that Hales chose that name for his dog in 2017 “because it was black”, adding: “It’s disgusting just how much of a joke it was.”

But Nottinghamshire batsman Hales said in a statement: “Having heard the allegations made against me, I categorically and absolutely deny there was any racial connotation in the naming of my dog.“I entirely respect and have huge sympathy for both the stance Azeem Rafiq has taken and what he has had to endure. His evidence was harrowing.

Read more: The Telegraph »

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At some stage a ‘time limit’ needs to be placed in these accusations: fortunately the world has changed this behaviour is not acceptable and would not be tolerated today, but going back over 10 years helps no one. For gods sake! So bloody what?! The ecb are a joke

English cricket needs to banish the bunk and follow South Africa’s example | Andy Bull Azeem Rafiq ’s testimony shows the importance of having these conversations in public rather than hidden behind closed doors This is a little odd though ? O didn't know English cricket is so racist sis. That's why you seen it in soccer also England has a very big problem

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Azeem Rafiq: 'I'm angry I looked the other way for so long'The cricketer hopes his claims about racism in the sport inspire others to come forward. I got called a paddy in 1980 Yes. Didn’t help when he signed up again for the team and when he insulted under19s coach Remarkable that BBC articles about a murderer and rapist get 1/5th of the comments of this one about racism.

Azeem Rafiq's testimony should shine a light on racism in every workplace | Shaista AzizI was not shocked by the abuse the ex-Yorkshire cricketer endured – it’s all too common, says writer and comedian Shaista Aziz Yes. But focus on the future. Do a truth and reconciliation and move forward. Historical executions are ridiculous and beside the point. Racism in every workplace? That's an ideological statement and it's complete garbage, but its The Guardian so - of course!

Tim Paine resigns as Australia’s Test cricket captain over ‘private’ text messages sent to colleaguePlayer says an investigation has exonerated him but he is ‘deeply sorry’ for his actions good luck Is it a problem that cricket's got specifically or a problem with the elitist approach to sport that leads to players thinking they do and say what the hell they like !