Alex Hales apologises for ‘incredibly disrespectful’ historical blackface photo: ‘I was reckless and foolish’

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Alex Hales issued a two-minute apology video via his official Instagram account  (Instagram/alexhales1 )
Alex Hales issued a two-minute apology video via his official Instagram account (Instagram/alexhales1 )

Alex Hales has apologised after a historic image of him in blackface emerged during cricket’s ongoing racism crisis.

A picture published in The Sun newspaper on Friday showed former England opener Hales with his face painted black at a fancy dress party for New Year’s Eve back in 2009.

The latest controversy comes just three days after the Nottinghamshire batsman was named by Azeem Rafiq during the latter’s harrowing testimony before a Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) select committee hearing on the racism scandal at Yorkshire.

Addressing the photograph published by The Sun in a two-minute Instagram video, Hales said it had been “incredibly disrespectful” to dress up as late American rapper Tupac Shakur at the party in question as well as “reckless and foolish” as he apologised for both the offence caused and the embarrassment to his club.

He faces an investigation into his conduct by both Nottinghamshire and the ECB.

“With the allegations that have come to light over the last few days, I feel like it’s important that I address these myself. I’ll start with the picture that has appeared in The Sun of me at a fancy dress party in 2009,” Hales 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 the offence that this has no doubt caused.

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

Hales has a remarkable knack of becoming caught up in English cricket’s scandals, from his decision not to tour Bangladesh in 2016, to his ban for recreational drugs in 2019 via the Bristol bar brawl of 2017.

“My 20s was full of mistakes, reckless mistakes off the field that cost me, let down family, let down teammates, let down friends, close relationships I had during my 20s,” Hales said.

“Some of those decisions I will regret for the rest of my life. 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. To keep getting better at cricket but getting better off the field as well, and it’s something I feel like I’ve done and am continuing to strive to do.”

Hales was initially caught up in the racism crisis that has engulfed cricket earlier this week after Rafiq claimed during the DCMS hearing that he had named his black dog “Kevin” after a term allegedly used by Yorkshire’s Gary Ballance to describe “people of colour”.

However, Hales strongly denied that there had been any racial connotations whatsoever in the naming of the dog.

“With regards to the allegations about the dog, it’s an ongoing investigation at the club so I can’t go into detail with that,” Hales said in his Instagram video. “But I want to reiterate what I said in my statement the other day.

“I deplore all forms of racism and discrimination and I’ve been incredibly lucky to play around the world in different backgrounds with players, different races and different cultures. I’m incredibly fortunate to do so and I think it’s great that our game is so diverse. I’m proud to be a part of that.”

Nottinghamshire confirmed on Friday that they had extended the scope of their initial investigation into the historic conduct of Hales, who is currently in Australia preparing for the start of the Big Bash League.

“Alex will be subject to the club’s established disciplinary process and has indicated his willingness to participate in the investigation,” the club said in a statement.

An ECB spokesperson said: “We strongly condemn any form of discrimination.

“We have procedures in place to address conduct and allegations of this nature and we will investigate accordingly. We want cricket to be an inclusive, welcoming game for everyone.”

Read More

Alex Hales denies Azeem Rafiq allegation of ‘racial connotation’ to dog’s name

Racism cost me my cricket career – Azeem Rafiq reveals extent of harrowing abuse

Ex-England batsman Hales accused of naming dog after racial slur in Rafiq hearing

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