England’s T20 World Cup winner Alex Hales has been upbraided for an old social media post in which he appeared in blackface. Hales, who recently shined in England’s T20 World Cup triumph, was pictured in a 2009 Facebook post dressed as American rapper Tupac Shakur at a fancy dress party.
“The theme was musicians and Tupac is, was and always will be my favourite musician, so I went as him.” – Alex Hales pic.twitter.com/cX74QDII3R
— The Upshot (@UpshotTowers) November 19, 2021
The Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) reprimanded Hales for his “blackface” photo after it was published in a national newspaper last year. Hales, who had earlier issued a public apology, questioned the need for “repeated publication of these old matters” during the CDC’s investigation.
However, Chris Tickle, the adjudicator, reckoned that “the interests of transparency should prevail”. Notably, the CDC is constituted by the ECB as the body that hears disciplinary cases in the professional domestic game in England and Wales.
Hales was charged in August with a breach of ECB directive 3.3, which states: “No such person may conduct himself in a manner or do any act or omission which may be prejudicial to the interests of cricket or which may bring the game of cricket into disrepute.”
Further, an additional charge regarding the governing body’s anti-discrimination code was dropped by the ECB, and Tickle decided that Hales’s previous apologies counted in his favour. Tickle imposed no fine, costs or invited any further expressions of remorse.
“His appreciation of rap music and Tupac was widely known. He was one of Mr Hales’ favourite musicians. No offence was taken by anyone at the time or subsequently. Mr Hales did not believe his actions were racist or offensive at the time, though he has acknowledged that he would not dress in that manner now. He is older and more mature. Given that context, I find that there was no racist or discriminatory intent in dressing as he did and in posing for the photo,” wrote Tickle in his judgement as quoted by DailyMail.
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