Ebony Rainford-Brent: A former England cricketer shares a racist letter she received

The 37-year-old, who became the first black woman to play for the English cricket team in 2001, shared a picture of the letter on Twitter on Wednesday, during a week when the sport’s problems with racism were revealed.

Rainford-Brent subtitled her tweet: “Interesting … Born in south London but apparently I was found naked in Africa as a primitive. Had a few letters in my time but this one up there!”

The letter contained a number of racist and sexist insults and repeatedly referred to “White culture”.

It comes after former cricketer Azeem Rafiq testified describing a pattern of racist and discriminatory behavior within English cricket, speaking to British lawmakers on Tuesday.
During the hearing, Rafiq shared his experience of being bullied at Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) and broke down in tears on more than one occasion.

In a summary of a report produced by an independent panel for the YCCC, the panel concluded that “there is no question” that Rafiq “was the victim of racial harassment.”

Rainford-Brent represented her country 29 times until 2010 before moving into sports broadcast.

In 2020, she partnered with cricket legend Michael Holding to produce a powerful short film to address the issue of racism in both cricket and society after the police murder of George Floyd.

READ: World Cup winner encourages white players to take a more active role in fighting racism
“I grew up in a very multicultural, diverse London with all sorts of colors – Black, White, Asian,” she said in the Sky Sports video.

“Everyone was a melting pot, and I realized that as soon as I entered the world of cricket, the comments started.

“I had comments about where I grew up, and about the fact that I had a long name, maybe my mother didn’t know who my father was; about my hair, body parts, especially the derrie, let’s say; about the food that is .I ate and that smelled bad.

“I wonder why I’ve stayed so long. I love the game, it has so much more to offer, but it can be really hard to deal with that day after day.”


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