Running Out Racism

Running Out Racism are a group of cricket lovers – players, administrators and fans – that want the current coverage on cricket in Scotland to lead to changes in the way their institutions are run, so that racism of all forms in cricket can be eradicated. They want to be part of the solution, and to have their say in what happens next. They currently do not have adequate representation in all the different areas that decisions are made, and have therefore created this group and associated campaign, outlining the initial steps that they believe need to be taken to start us all on this journey.

Following on from the damning report into racism in Scottish Cricket this is without doubt an objective that we share and which we want to be part of the solution as well. We are talking to Qasim Sheikh about setting up a game next year in which he has kindly said he will play and we have reached out to Running Out Racism.

In the meantime there are a number of ways you can help: Pledge your support by emailing with details of who the pledge is from – you as an individual (and your role in cricket) or your organisation / club or other body. If part of a body, please send a logo to add to the website. Volunteer your time and offer your skills, and join our small team of dedicated volunteers campaign and lobby for positive change. Follow us on social channels, and promote, retweet and support our cause publicly.

And of course you can sign the petition.

Running Out Racism now seek urgent talks with Scottish Government, SportScotland and Cricket Scotland to implement further measures that prevent a situation like this ever happening again within Scottish Sport.

This devastating report highlights clear and unambiguous governance failing. The absence of any meaningful monitoring and compliance has clearly contributed to the scale of the issue facing cricket.

With safeguards and suitable regulation absent, meaning further issues in sport, or future issues in Cricket, are likely to recur without any knowledge or escalation.  

SportScotland and Scottish Government must now take action to safeguard and mitigate against further issues, that go beyond the recommendations of this report.    

Not addressing this would constitute a lack of accountability and ownership on behalf of Scottish Government and SportScotland to identify, acknowledge and prevent further racism or governance failings from happening within sport. This is clearly transferable across all equality cohorts.

We would seek commitment to implement the following actions;  

1)       That Scottish Government, and SportScotland, commit to implementing a suitable version of the Plan4Sport racism assessment framework used to assess Cricket Scotland.  This should be a conditional part of funding for Sports Governing Bodies in Scotland.

Until now, equalities action plans have been part of funding agreements that have led to ongoing significant investments into cricket and other sports.  It is clear that these current governance arrangements are not fit for purpose in monitoring the reality of such action plans.   

The framework developed by Plan4Sport should be used to assess meaningful commitment to eradicating racism within all sports.

2)      That Scottish Government implements some form of independent regulation and/or investigation arm, where failings can be raised beyond governing bodies.  

This will prevent further issues from being swept under the carpet or hidden within governing bodies, as this has for so many years.  Currently SportScotland have no power to investigate, and no measures beyond that of withholding funding.  

This would involve giving either SportScotland, or a new independent body, powers to investigate issues of discrimination and poor governance through whistleblowing of issues by anyone concerned by the conduct of a Sports Governing Body.  This could then be investigated and any appropriate sanction or findings put forward, in a similar way to other regulators such as OSCR for Charities.

The report highlights a number of key learnings for Cricket Scotland.   We support these in full, but now call on Cricket Scotland to ensure the following key things happen in relation to Cricket Scotland;

With regards to the recommendations within the report itself, we are fully supportive of Plan4Sport’s recommendations.   However, we would call on Cricket Scotland to commit to the following actions alongside this;

3)       That a date is published by which the first cases referred for investigation from Plan4Sport will take place.

As the report has highlighted, there are a number of concerns now raised relating to multiple individuals.   In the past, these have either been ignored when raised, or not investigated using a proper, fair and robust procedure.   

We recognise that Cricket Scotland need a little time to build the robust procedures they’ve been lacking that has led to this situation, and seek the expertise to deal with these cases well.  A full and thorough process is in everyone’s interests.

It is also in everyone’s interest to move forward with this as swiftly as possible.  We are aware of a number of people still active in cricket, that are of cause for concern for us, and trust cannot be built in future actions without these cases being dealt with in a timely manner.   

Speculation will continue to mount externally on who has been referred, and numbers are likely to rise with new disclosures.   

We therefore call on Cricket Scotland to publish a date by which these investigations will begin, and to ensure prioritisation is given to hearing those with the most serious concerns and/or those still active within cricket.

4)      That Cricket Scotland, as an immediate early priority, commit to collecting data at all levels centrally, on the diversity from grass roots right to where the highest decisions are made.

Without this, we have no way of measuring both the progress and the distance left to travel in terms of representation across the game.

5)      That Cricket Scotland and SportScotland involve those with lived experience in the agreement and signoff of the Cricket Scotland action plan for special measures, to be produced within the next few weeks.

The credibility of it being valid to move out of special measures rests on the action plan going far enough.  This includes measures to both address past issues, and future improvements.  Whilst we acknowledge improvement is a journey that will take time, we expect to see actions that will build momentum, commitment and demonstrate appropriate prioritisation and commitment to an anti-racist approach.