Professional cricketers’ anti-racism programme
A major new programme of player education is being delivered across professional cricket during the 2021 season as part of a zero-tolerance approach to racial discrimination in cricket.
The Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) established an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group in 2020 and conducted a player survey. A central recommendation of the working group was to roll out a programme of education to all PCA members.
Workshops will be delivered to all domestic male and female teams as well as the England men’s and women’s squads.
The anti-racism programme, which is supported by the ECB, is raising awareness of cultural differences and unconscious bias specifically in the context of racism in professional cricket, and addressing issues such as workplace banter and inappropriate non-verbal behaviour.
The education aims to increase cultural awareness, an understanding unconscious bias and of how behaviour can be interpreted differently. It also aims to encourage people to challenge non-inclusive behaviours.
The action followed publication of a PCA survey of its members about their experiences of racism in the game. The research showed that although 92% of players believe their employers produce an environment that allows all cricketers to flourish, from the 173 PCA members who completed the survey, 23 players had experienced racism in the professional game.
Of those players who had experienced or witnessed racism, 45% of these instances were from another player with 39% of respondents saying the abuse was either from fans or on social media.
The PCA education programme follows a range of measures announced by the ECB to accelerate work to drive out discrimination and make cricket a game for everyone.
Rob Lynch, PCA Chief Executive, said: “Racism in the game is unacceptable and the game needs to take action. Players have asked for education and clarity on the reporting of discriminatory behaviours and for the development of a code of conduct, which we will deliver on this year. We will continue to work with the ECB and other key stakeholders in this area to do more, and simply be better.
Neil Snowball, ECB Managing Director, County Cricket, said: “We have a simple goal of making cricket a game for everyone, and we’re grateful to those people who’ve been brave enough to tell of their experiences. We will continue to listen and learn from people’s experiences across our sport to guide our future work to make cricket the truly inclusive and diverse sport we want it to be.”