Photo Credit: Cricket Scotland
Following the publication of the Plan4Sport “Changing the Boundaries” report, the independent report into racism in Scottish Cricket, a significant amount of work has been done to create a robust and independent process to manage the referrals.
Cricket Scotland has asked three independent partners to lead a detailed and robust investigation process of these referrals, with the possibility of further action being taken in each case. This forms part of a wider plan to become actively anti-racist, more diverse and inclusive so that every community in Scotland can be involved in Cricket at their chosen level.
As part of this process Scotland’s leading sports law firm Harper MacLeod LLP will work alongside UK-wide race equality charity Sporting Equals and where appropriate, anti-racism campaign group Running Out Racism to ensure that all complaints are dealt with appropriately.
Next steps and investigations
As part of the Plan4Sport review, 68 individual concerns have been referred for further investigation, of which 31 relate to allegations of racism against 15 different people, two clubs and one Regional Association. In some instances, multiple referrals have been raised against individuals. Some of these alleged incidents are recent while others are not.
When we say referrals, we mean complaints or experiences which were brought to the attention of Plan4Sport, which are now being investigated further. Further steps will be taken on all referrals, with that work now underway.
The referrals released by Plan4Sport must be assessed, categorised, prioritised then actioned as part of a thorough process. A collaborative group has been established to do this, which includes those with lived experience of racism, legal expertise, and an understanding of sport. Full details of those involved are provided at the end of this update.
The initial assessment will seek to understand the different issues raised in each referral. For example, what are the wishes of the person/s who raised the concern? Is an investigation possible or required? Could a different approach achieve a more constructive outcome such as better education and training that creates long-term change?
A key condition of this process is to draw on the experiences reported and assess what lessons can be learned, captured, and responded to, with the primary aim of improving cricket in Scotland for all. Where formal proceedings are required, these will be taken and will include speaking to the complainants, those against which complaints have been made, and any witnesses.
The process will be conducted by Harper Macleod LLP and Sporting Equals and where appropriate with support from Running Out Racism. Following completion of this work, key outcomes and recommendations will be reported back to Cricket Scotland. These outcomes could include whether further investigation or alternative steps may be required.
It is important that every referral is managed sensitively, recognising the different rights and interests of those involved. The approach also needs to ensure that those raising complaints, and those complained against, are supported adequately. This means that the process will provide an opportunity not only to participate through providing information but also to express an account of the impact on them personally of the alleged conduct. Importantly, the process will give those involved the chance to express their opinion on what they feel should happen next.
It is likely that some referrals may involve more formal proceedings, involving an investigation. Where this happens, witnesses to an incident will be sought to make sure the review panel has a comprehensive a picture as possible, before any conclusions are drawn, and action taken.
Ultimately, Cricket Scotland fully intends to take the appropriate steps to benefit everyone involved and to improve the sport of cricket in Scotland.
Harper Macleod LLP is Scotland’s leading sports law firm and works with governing bodies, sports organisations and sports people on all issues affecting sport. Harper MacLeod LLP is assisting Cricket Scotland with overhauling the governance and regulation of cricket in Scotland, together with supporting specific actions to be taken arising from the “Changing the Boundaries” report.
Sporting Equals is an independent UK-wide organisation that works for greater race equality in sport. As a specialist charity with a track record in promoting race equality, diversity and inclusion it has many years of experience in working in the sport and physical activity sector and has recently launched the Race Representation Index and workforce survey to support greater inclusion in sport. It has also set up the first-ever Race Discrimination pro bono service that supports victims of racial discrimination. It will be supported in its work by Bishop Lloyd and Jackson Solicitors (bljlaw). Sporting Equals will provide the expertise and empathy required to deal with the complex issues around race in sport and help to develop more robust and enduring structures and processes when it comes to race equality.
Running out Racism is a campaign group which has been involved with the review process into racism in Scottish cricket conducted by Plan4Sport. Previously Running out Racism has supported individuals who have come forward to disclose their experiences of racism during the review process. It is anticipated that they will now provide active support to those whose voice is to be heard again.