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Michael Carberry: I was pushed out of county club after calling out coach for racism

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Michael Carberry has spoken out on why more non-White cricketers don’t voice their concerns over racism and discrimination in the game, citing concerns over repercussions from those in power as the reason.

“If you ask Moeen [Ali] and Rash [Adil Rashid] about their issues in the game, understandably they are not going to come out and say, because they are in the set-up,” the former England batsman said on the Cricket Badger podcast. “This is the decision most Black people and people of colour have to make all the time. This thing is eating you inside every single day with what you hear in dressing rooms, what you see, the stuff people get away with and say to you.

“Can you see how unfair it is that someone on the daily has to keep accepting that stuff? I think other players who laugh it off want acceptance, they don’t want to get dropped, or put a left hook on that guy. Not hit him, but have a harsh word with him and say ‘Listen mate, don’t ever say that to me again’, because that guy may have a massive powerful influence in the team. If you rub that person up the wrong way, that’s you done, that’s your career done. Everything you’ve worked towards, you’re done. Things circulate. ‘Carberry’s a bit fiery. The temperamental Black man. The angry Black man.’”

Carberry cited an incident at an unnamed county club – the opener represented Surrey, Hampshire, Kent, and Leicestershire during his 18-year career – to demonstrate his point, saying that his decision to call out discriminatory comments from a county coach was ‘the final nail in the coffin’ for his time at the club.

“I’ve almost come close to making a coach spit 32 out on the ground for stuff that he said to me,” he said. “‘I couldn’t see you in the dark’ and ‘What are the brothers having tonight? Bit of fried chicken and rice and peas tonight?’ I had to drag him out on the balcony and say ‘Listen, let me ask you something mate. How much time have you spent in Black company?’ And he literally wet his pants. He literally hung his head like a little child. Bear in mind, I’m putting my career [on the line], and it probably ended up being the final nail in my coffin in that club. I won’t name the club. But these are the things you have to weigh up when you things like this in your company.”

Rashid and Moeen have each been vocal at times about various racial issues. The leg-spinner has spoken about how it was harder for the Asian community to break through at Yorkshire, his county club, while the off-spinner wrote in his autobiography that he was called “Osama” by an Australia player during the 2015 Ashes.

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