STIRLING, Scotland (AP) – Scottish cricket’s leadership has been found to be institutionally racist by an independent review, dealing another major blow to the sport following a similar scandal in the English game.
The review was published on Monday after a seven-month investigation sparked by allegations against Scotland’s all-time leading wicket-taker Majid Haq and his former teammate Qasim Shaikh.
It found that governing body Cricket Scotland failed 29 out of 31 indicators of institutional racism compiled by a consultancy firm leading the investigation. The body only partially passed the other two tests and had 448 instances of institutionalized racism.
Hundreds of people came forward to describe their experiences as part of the investigation. From these discussions, 68 individual concerns have been referred for further investigation, including 31 allegations of racism against 15 individuals, two clubs and one regional association.
The allegations include racial abuse, use of inappropriate language, favoritism of white children in public schools and lack of transparent selection process.
An interim report in April revealed that some incidents had been referred to the police. As a result, one person appeared in court.
The review found a lack of diversity or anti-racism training, no consistent process for dealing with incidents of racism – with people “sidelining or ignoring” the issues – from board level up. Lack of diversity within the coaching workforce and talent. Path, and lack of transparency in the selection process.
The consultancy firm leading the review said it was clear that “Cricket Scotland’s governance and leadership practices have been institutionally racist.”
“The reality is that the organisation’s leadership failed to see the problems and, by failing to do so, enabled a culture of racially aggravated microaggressions to flourish,” said Louise Tideswell, the firm’s managing director.
The review recommended that Cricket Scotland be placed in special measures by Sports Scotland, the government agency that oversees sport in the country.
Sports Scotland chief executive Stewart Harris described the report’s findings as “deeply worrying and in some cases shocking” and said it should “serve as a wake-up call for all Scottish sport.”
“Racism is a societal problem,” he said, “and it’s no longer good enough to just be non-racist, Scottish sport must now be actively anti-racist.”
Cricket Scotland’s entire board resigned on Sunday ahead of the publication of the report.
Cricket Scotland interim CEO Gordon Arthur, who began his role this month, issued what he described as a “heartfelt apology” to victims of racism and other discrimination.
“We hope the report gives them some reassurance that their voices have been heard, and we’re sorry it didn’t happen sooner,” Arthur said. “This report is an important moment for cricket in Scotland and taking forward its recommendations is a top priority. It is clear that significant cultural change must happen and it must happen quickly.”
Arthur refuses to personally apologize to Majid and Qasim, both whistleblowers.
In England, issues raised by another whistleblower, Azim Rafiq, who testified at a parliamentary hearing last year about racism while playing in Yorkshire, led the England and Wales Cricket Board to launch an anti-discrimination law. Built the unit and checked the locker. – Room culture
The ECB initially banned Yorkshire from hosting international matches due to the racist backlash Rafiq faced – at first, the team dismissed some of the abuse as “friendly banter” – and kit supplier Nike. Ended sponsorship with Yorkshire. Yorkshire’s entire coaching staff resigned and the club’s new chairman, Kamlesh Patel, said significant change was needed to “restore confidence”.
Rafiq’s allegations sparked similar complaints from other players and uncovered other landmark cases.
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