Alex Hales blackface: what did former England cricketer say about Tupac Shakur photo and dog name criticism?

The discovery of Alex Hales blackface photo comes after he denied any racist connotations in regards to the naming of his dog, as alleged by Azeem Rafiq

Former England batsman Alex Hales has issued an apology over a picture of him in blackface at a fancy dress party in 2009 surfaced.

The picture comes as Hales released a statement earlier this week denying racist connotations of his dog’s name, Kevin, as alleged by Azeem Rafiq.

This is what you need to know.

What has Alex Hales said about the blackface photo?

Hales addressed the blackface incident in a two minute video posted to his Instagram account.

In the video, Hales says that he feels it’s important for him to “address the allegations” that have surfaced over the past few days.

He said: “I’ll start with the picture that has appeared in the Sun of me at a fancy dress party in 2009.

“The theme [of the party] was musicians and Tupac [Shakur] is, was and always will be my favourite musician so I went as him.

“Obviously I realise this is incredibly disrespectful and I want to apologise for the offence this has no doubt caused.

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

In regards to the picture, select committee chairman MP Julian Knight said: “This picture - coming on the back of a week when cricket was shamed like never before - is incredibly disturbing and offensive.

“The very soul of English cricket is now at stake.”

What are the allegations about his dog?

In the same video on Instagram, Hales touches on the allegations made by racism whistleblower Azeem Rafiq in regards to the naming of his dog, Kevin.

Rafiq gave his testimony to a parliamentary select committee on Tuesday (16 November) where he detailed the racist terms that were “used constantly” within the club.

Former cricketer Azeem Rafiq gives evidence at the inquiry into racism he suffered at Yorkshire County Cricket Club (Photo: PA/Parliament TV)

One example Rafiq gave was that the use of the name “Kevin” as a derogatory term for any person of colour by his Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance was “an open secret in the England dressing room” and that Hales had chosen to call his dog by that name because it was black.

Hales released a statement on Wednesday (17 November) in which he “categorically and absolutely” denied any racial connotations in the naming of his dog.

He said: “I entirely respect and have huge sympathy for both the stance Azeem Rafiq has taken and what he has had to endure. His evidence was harrowing.

“There is no place for racism or discrimination of any kind in cricket and I will gladly co-operate with any investigation the game’s authorities choose to hold.”

Alex Hales said in a statement that he ‘deplores all forms of racism and discrimination’ (Photo: PA)

In the video on Instagram, Hales said: “With regards to the allegations about the dog, it’s an ongoing investigation of the club so I can’t go into detail about that.

“But, I want to reiterate what I said in my statement the other day and finally that I deplore all forms of racism and discrimination.

“I’ve been incredibly lucky to play around the world in different backgrounds and with players of different races and 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.”

What has the England and Wales Cricket Board said?

An English and Wales Cricket Board 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.”

A spokesperson for the England and Wales Cricket Board said that the institution ‘strongly condemns any form of discrimination' (Photo: Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Nottinghamshire confirmed they had extended the scope of their investigation into Hales to include the fancy dress party.

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

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