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19th Nov 2021

Alex Hales apologises for “incredibly disrespectful” blackface photo

Simon Lloyd

Hales has explained he was attending a fancy dress party as Tupac Shakur

Former England cricketer Alex Hales has issued an apology after a photo was published which showed him wearing black make-up.

Hales, who has this week denied allegations that he named his own dog after a racial slur, has said he was attempting to pay tribute to late rapper Tupac Shakur at a 2009 New Year’s Eve party.

The picture was published in The Sun and Hales has now responded in a video posted on his Instagram account.

Explaining that he was at a fancy dress party in 2009, Hales says: “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 all 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.

“I guess my twenties were full of mistakes like that – reckless mistakes off the field that let down family, let down teammates, let down friends, close relationships I had during my twenties.

“Some of those decisions I’ll regret for the rest of my life.”

On Tuesday, former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq told a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee that Gary Ballance, a former teammate, used the name ‘Kevin’ as a “derogatory” term when referring to any player of colour.

Rafiq alleged that Hales named his dog Kevin “because it’s black”, something Hales strongly denied.

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

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

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