British cricketer Alex Hales apologized on Friday after releasing a photo showing him dressed in black with a portrait of Tupac Shakur at a party in 2009.
The apology comes amid an ongoing UK cricket crisis due to revelations by whistleblower Azeem Rafiq about the racism he suffered while playing in Yorkshire.
Hales, 32, a former England rugby player who plays for Nottinghamshire, said in a two-minute Instagram post that he dressed up as his favorite musician for a costume party .
“I clearly realize this is extremely disrespectful and I would like to apologize for the offense this has no doubt caused,” he said. “On my behalf it was extremely reckless and stupid and I want to apologize for that, to apologize to the club for the shame it has caused them.”
Nottinghamshire and the England and Wales Cricket Council are investigating the incident.
“I guess my 20s were full of mistakes like that,” Hales continued, “the reckless mistakes off the pitch that let down family, let down teammates, friends, close relationships that didn’t work. I made in my 20s. Some of them I’ll regret for the rest of my life. ”
Going unnoticed in recent years “gave me the opportunity to try to better myself as a human being,” he added.
Nottinghamshire investigated Hales in relation to the naming of his dog. Rafiq alleged that Yorkshire teammate Gary Ballance used “Kevin” as a blanket derogatory term for all people of color, that it was “an open secret in the England dressing room” and Hales called his dog Kevin because it’s black.
Hales has denied that allegation.
“Regarding the dog allegations, there is an ongoing investigation at the club so I cannot go into detail on that, but I would like to reiterate what I said in my statement. me the day before. I plead for every form of racism and discrimination.”
Cricket stakeholders met on Friday and vowed to take “widespread action to address discrimination and promote inclusion and diversity at all levels”, they said. know in a statement issued by the ECB.
Leaders, from the top down to the county cricket league, said they discussed ways to eliminate discrimination and improve governance. They plan to meet again next week.
“Racism and discrimination are a downside to our game,” they said in the statement. “To Azeem and everyone who has experienced any form of discrimination, we sincerely apologize. Our sport doesn’t welcome you, our game doesn’t accept you as we should. We are deeply sorry for your suffering.
“Our game must win back your trust.”