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English cricketer Alex Hales apologises for blackface image amid racism probe


English cricketer Alex Hales apologised after photos emerged of him in blackface, with Nottinghamshire confirming the player is under investigation.

The revelations were highlighted in a report by The Sun, with the cricketer posing as the rapper Tupac Shakur at a fancy dress party in 2009 .

Hales said he was “incredibly disrespectful” and the decision to dress as Shakur was one of the “decisions I’ll regret for the rest of my life”.

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“The theme was musicians and Tupac is, was and always will be my favourite musician, so I went as him,” Hales said in a statement. “I obviously realise that this is incredibly disrespectful and I want to apologise for all the offence this has no doubt caused.

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

“I guess my twenties was full of mistakes like that, reckless mistakes off the field that cost me, let down family, let down team-mates, let down friends, close relationships I had during my twenties.

“Some of those decisions I’ll regret for the rest of my life, and the last few years being away from the spotlight a little bit has given me a chance to try and better myself as a human, keep getting better at cricket, but getting better off the field as well. It’s something I feel like I’ve done, and I’m continuing to strive to do.”

MP Julian Knight, the select committee chairman, 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.”

The photos come as English cricket confronts allegations of racism and discrimination.

Hales had earlier in the week denied any racial connotations to the naming of his dog “Kevin”, after former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq that the word “Kevin” was used by Gary Ballance – a former England team-mate of Hales – to describe people of colour.

Rafiq alleged that Hales named his dog “Kevin” because it was black.

Hales is currently in Australia for the Big Bash League and has not played for England since 2019, after a second positive drugs test for a recreational substance in the lead up to the World Cup.

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