February has been declared Race Free Month and every day in February we at MyPE will be combating the subtle racist nuances that hamper our thinking, cloud our judgement, restrict our development and increase the tension in South Africa.
In September 2014, son of Port Elizabeth, cricketer Ashwell Prince was slagged off by a frustrated Andrew Gale after reportedly calling Prince a “f**king Kolpak” during the Roses clash at Old Trafford.
Now this is where it gets interesting as ‘Kolpak’ is shorthand for a band of overseas players who utilise an obscure employment law to play in England without restriction.
Where it gets even more interesting is that the England and Wales Cricket Board’s investigation included enquiries into whether there was a racist element to the verbal attack or not.
It was the insistence by Prince that there was no racial connotation to the verbal abuse that led to the collapse of the ECB’s case against Gale.
Subsequently, Gale was been handed a further two-match ban and ordered to complete an anger management course, but he revealed it was the suggestion he was racist that has hurt him most during the saga.
Is it possible that the ECB reacted out of their own blinkered racist views by assuming that Prince, a coloured player, would be the target of racist vitriol?