‘Tone deaf’: Cricket Scotland’s reaction to racism report decried by campaigners
Anti-racism campaigners have described a report into Cricket Scotland’s reaction to the diagnosis last year of institutional racism, which the organisation labelled a “detailed, transparent and frank assessment”, as “tone deaf and arrogant” and full of “empty soundbites”.
Related: ‘Truly sorry’: Cricket Scotland board resigns before report into racism
The update was written by the Cricket Scotland chair, Anjan Luthra, who was appointed last October, two months after the publication of a report on racism in the Scottish game that was so damning it prompted the organisation’s entire board to resign. Luthra concluded that “a lot of impressive work has been conducted”, leading to him being “incredibly optimistic about the long-term future”. The formation of an EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) board sub-committee, and the creation of an anti-racism and EDI advisory group reporting to the sub-committee, were used as examples of progress made.
But Running Out Racism, who campaign against racism in Scottish cricket, said that the EDI working group had taken “five months to form, and has only met once”, and that “to cite [it] as an achievement is frankly embarrassing”. In a statement, they said Luthra’s report “is tone deaf and arrogant”, “has set back trust significantly” and demonstrated that Cricket Scotland were “undoubtedly trying to make the problem go away … with no interest in understanding and resolving the issues which led to it being found institutionally racist in the first place”.
Aamer Anwar, who represents Majid Haq and Qasim Sheikh, the two former Scottish internationals whose experiences prompted the original report, said in a statement that “Cricket Scotland’s empty soundbites show that it remains unfit for purpose”. He said his clients “believe the chair has failed to deliver or inspire genuine confidence” and that the process has been “little more than an arrogant cosmetic box-ticking exercise”. The statement concluded: “The only winners today are institutional racism and the dinosaurs who now appear even more entrenched.”
Cricket Scotland also announced that its interim chief executive, Gordon Arthur, was to step down at the end of April for personal reasons. The governing body will now run concurrent searches for a new interim chief executive and a permanent chief executive. Running Out Racism said Arthur had “shown incredible compassion and work ethic”, while Haq and Sheikh described him as “a man who genuinely fought for change to take place”.