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Racism In English Cricket

Alex Hales apologises for ‘incredibly disrespectful’ blackface photo

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Former England cricketer Alex Hales has apologised after a photo showing him wearing blackface at a party in 2009 was released.

Hales said he was paying tribute to late American rapper Tupac Shakur at the New Year’s Eve party that was held 12 years ago.

Of the image that was released in The Sun, he said: “The theme was musicians and Tupac is, was and always will be my favourite musician, so I went as him.

“I obviously realise that this is incredibly disrespectful and I want to apologise for all the offence this has no doubt caused.

“It was incredibly reckless and foolish on my behalf, so I want to apologise for that, apologise to the club for the embarrassment it would have caused them.

“I guess my twenties was full of mistakes like that, reckless mistakes off the field that cost me, let down family, let down team-mates, let down friends, close relationships I had during my twenties.

“Some of those decisions I’ll regret for the rest of my life, and the last few years being away from the spotlight a little bit has given me a chance to try and better myself as a human, keep getting better at cricket, but getting better off the field as well.

“It’s something I feel like I’ve done, and I’m continuing to strive to do.”

The photo’s release comes just days after Hales had denied the allegation made that there were racist connotations attached to the naming of his dog.

On Tuesday, ex-Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq said to a DCMS select committee that former team-mate Gary Ballance, a close friend of Hales, used the name ‘Kevin’ as a “derogatory” term for any player of colour.

Rafiq said that Hales named his dog Kevin “because it’s black”, an allegation which Hales denies.

Nottinghamshire, Hales’ club, has said that it had “extended the scope” of its internal investigation into his behaviour to factor in the publication of the photo as well as allegations regarding the naming of the dog.

The club added that: “”Alex will be subject to the club’s established disciplinary process and has indicated his willingness to participate in the investigation.”

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