Cricket Player Alex Hales Apologizes For Dressing as Tupac in Blackface

In Summary

After a whistleblower's claims about racism on the UK's cricket team, a player is apologizing for wearing blackface in 2009. 

Cricket player Alex Hales is apologizing after a photo of him in blackface was publicized.  

According to the Associated Press, the photo stems from a 2009 costume party where Hales dressed as rapper Tupac Shakur.  

In an Instagram video posted Friday, Hales addressed the photo, saying Tupac is one of his favorite artists, so he went to the party dressed as him. Hales acknowledged how “disrespectful” his behavior was and apologized for the offense it caused. 

RELATED: England’s Football Association Denounces Racist Attack on Its Black Players 

This comes after former cricket player Azeem Rafiq alleged he faced racism while playing for the cricket team in Yorkshire. He accused former teammate Gary Ballance of using “Kevin” as a derogatory term to refer to all people of color, the Associated Press reported. Rafiq also alleged “Kevin” was Ballance’s dog name because it was black.  

Hales denied Rafiq’s claim and any involvement. “With regards to the allegations about the dog, there’s an ongoing investigation at the club so I can’t go into detail with that, but I want to reiterate what I said in my statement the other day,” Hales said. “I deplore all forms of racism and discrimination.”  

These incidents follow other high-profile cases revealing the prevalence of racism in the UK sports world. In August, 11 people were arrested in connection to racist abuse against Black English players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, BNC previously reported.  

RELATED: British Police Arrest 11 for Racist Abuse Against Their Black Soccer Players  

Other high-profile incidents of racism in the country include allegations from Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry. Markle, who is biracial, said when she was pregnant with her son Archie, some in the Royal Family expressed “concerns” about how dark her son’s skin might be.  

RELATED: Race, Title and Anguish: Meghan and Harry Explain Royal Rift 

The photo of Hales in blackface is under investigation by the England and Wales Cricket Board. The organization’s website said the board is “committed to taking all allegations of discrimination within cricket in England and Wales very seriously and wants to ensure that anyone can report it in the knowledge that we will act appropriately.” 

If you or someone you know is struggling from trauma triggered by this story, resources are available here.   

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