Racism in cricket is not a new phenomenon. It’s just that players are coming out in the open now and talking about their experiences. Former England opener Michael Carberry has revealed why no-white cricketers don’t express their concerns over racism.
“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,” Carberry said on the Cricket Badger podcast. “This is the decision most Black people and 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.
“Can you see how unfair it is that someone on the daily has to keep accepting that stuff? 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 rub that person up the wrong way, that’s you done, that’s your career done. Everything you’ve worked towards, you’re done. Things circulate. ‘Carberry’s a bit fiery. The temperamental Black man. The angry Black man.’”
Carberry then revealed how calling out racism was end of his career with a county club. Interestingly, he represented Surrey, Hampshire, Kent, and Leicestershire in his career.
“I’ve almost come close to making a coach spit 32 out on the ground for stuff that he said to me,” he said. “‘I couldn’t see you in the dark’ and ‘What are the brothers having tonight? Bit of fried chicken and rice and peas tonight?’ I had to drag him out on the balcony and say ‘Listen, let me ask you something mate. How much time have you spent in Black company?’
“And he literally wet his pants. He literally hung his head like a little child. Bear in mind, I’m putting my career [on the line], and it probably ended up being the final nail in my coffin in that club. I won’t name the club. But these are the things you have to weigh up when you things like this in your company.”