FORMER England cricketer Michael Carberry claims ‘cricket is rife with racism’ and reveals he stood up to a former coach who made racist slurs.
Carberry, 39, who played six Test matches for England, confronted the coach – and says it probably cost him his contract with that county.
Carberry told the Cricket Badger podcast: I’ve almost come close to making a coach spit out 32 [teeth] on the ground for the stuff that he said to me.
“‘I couldn’t see you in the dark’ and ‘What are the brothers having tonight? Bit of fried chicken and rice and peas?’”
“Bear in mind, I’m putting my career on the line and it probably ended up being the final nail in my coffin at that club.
The issue you have in cricket is, the people running the game don't care about black people in it. Black people are not important to the structure of English cricket.
“I won’t name the club. But these are the things you have to weigh up when you hear things like this in your company.”
Carberry played for Surrey, Kent and Hampshire before ending his career two years ago at Leicestershire.
He also says "cricket is rife with racism" and that "the people running the game don't care about black people”.
Carberry said: "Cricket is rife with racism. The issue you have in cricket is, the people running the game don't care about black people in it. Black people are not important to the structure of English cricket.
"If you look around English cricket at the moment, where the important decisions are made, name one black man in those positions?
“You're talking the Andrew Strauss or Ashley Giles roles. Which black man has ever had the opportunity to make the big decisions on English cricket? Not one.
"Then scale down. Look at England head coaches. When has there been a black head coach? Never.
Players who laugh it off want acceptance, they don’t want to get dropped, or put a left hook on that guy
“Any black captains [in county cricket]? Yours truly for about six games [for Leicestershire]. The guy who replaced me got to do it for the whole season and lost every game.
"Why do you think I lost my career? I could have played on. But it's important I'm happy with who looks back at me.
"Maybe I didn't play the 50 or 100 Tests people thought I should have done. But I thought it was more important to respect the man who looks back at me in the mirror.
Carberry, who was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in 2016, said BAME players feel like they are risking their careers if they confront the predjudice
He said: "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 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.
"This is the decision most 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."
In response, the ECB accepted the game has "a long way to go" and that "barriers to enjoying our sport exist".
They confirmed their commitment to the 'Rooney Rule' – which insists BAME candidates must be interviewed for head coaching and senior administration roles – at county level.
"We truly believe that cricket is a game for everyone but understand that sadly barriers to enjoying our sport exist for many communities," the ECB said in a statement.
"We know we have a long way to go until we are fully representative as a sport, particularly in relation to black communities.
"That's why voices like Michael's are so important and we will continue to listen, educate ourselves and face uncomfortable truths in order to create action and long-term change.”
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