The white mainstream has used hurtful language to players of different colour like Moeen and Archer

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COMMENT: The English game has a problem with unconscious bias… the white mainstream has for too long used hurtful language to players of different ethnicity like Moeen Ali and Jofra Archer

  • The treatment of Jofra Archer was at the heart of my discussion in Wisden
  • When Archer was helping England win the World Cup, he was a sensation 
  • But when he later struggled at Old Trafford, too many reached for cliches 
  • Listen to Moeen Ali, who said he often felt scapegoated for England’s failures

In the editor’s notes in this year’s Wisden I suggested the English game has a problem with unconscious bias — which is not the same as overt racism.

Last summer’s treatment of Jofra Archer was at the heart of my discussion. When Archer was helping England win the World Cup, he was a sensation. When he struggled on a blustery day at Old Trafford, too many reached for cliches: he was too cold, too laid-back, he was a natural athlete who should be bowling 95mph.

My point was that English cricket’s white mainstream has for too long used language that sounds inoffensive to its ears, but hurtful to players of different ethnicity.

Last year’s treatment of Jofra Archer was at the heart of my discussion in Wisden’s editor notes

When Archer was helping England win the World Cup on home soil, he was a sensation

When Archer was helping England win the World Cup on home soil, he was a sensation

If Archer is a natural athlete, it is not because he is black. If he was cold that day, well, so was everyone else. As for his temperament, he was calm enough to bowl the Super Over in the World Cup final.

But don’t listen to me, a white man who does not have to deal with these tags. Listen to Moeen Ali, who this year said he often felt scapegoated for England’s failures. It contributed to him taking a break from Tests.

Moeen is a down-to-earth guy, his reaction was not hysteria.

It is rarely helpful calling this kind of thing racism, because people go on the defensive. 

But we can all do better. As I wrote in Wisden: ‘There are times English cricket seems unwilling to call it anything at all.’

But when he struggled on a blustery day at Old Trafford, too many reached for cliches

But when he struggled on a blustery day at Old Trafford, too many reached for cliches

All-rounder Moeen Ali said this year said he often felt scapegoated for England's failures

All-rounder Moeen Ali said this year said he often felt scapegoated for England’s failures

 

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