'Rife with racism': England star lifts lid on horrific treatment

Chris Young
Sports Reporter
Former England Test cricketer Michael Carberry has spoken out about the years of racial discrimination he endured while playing county cricket. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz - CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images/Getty Images)

Former England Test cricketer Michael Carberry has opened up about his career, detailing how he endured years of taunts and discrimination in a sport that is ‘rife with racism’.

Carberry played six test matches for England at the peak of an otherwise glittering career in county cricket, where he played for Surrey, Kent, Hampshire, and Leicestershire.

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The now 39-year-old said his willingness to call out racist name-calling and discrimination cost him his job at one of those county clubs, though he did not say which one.

Speaking on the Cricket Badger podcast, Carberry said constant racist taunts had left him considering knocking the teeth out of one coach.

“I think other players who laugh it off want acceptance, they don’t want to get dropped, or put a left hook on that guy,” Carberry said.

“I’ve almost come close to making a coach spit 32 (teeth) out on the ground for stuff that he said to me.

“‘I couldn’t see you in the dark’ and ‘What are the brothers having tonight? Bit of fried chicken and rice and peas tonight?’

“I had to drag him out on the balcony and say: ‘Listen, let me ask you something mate. How much time have you spent in black company? And he literally wet his pants. He literally hung his head like a little child.

“Bear in mind, I’m putting my career (on the line), and it probably ended up being the final nail in my coffin in that club.

“I won’t name the club. But these are the things you have to weigh up when you hear things like this in your company.”

Michael Carberry fed up with racism in cricket

Former opening batsman Carberry said ‘cricket is rife with racism’ later in the same podcast, declaring ‘the people running the game don’t care about black people’.

He also said another factor in his retirement was his desire to no longer be seen as ‘the angry black man’.

As the world continues to react to ongoing Black Lives Matter protests against racism and police brutality, the West Indian team touched down in England ahead of their Test series next month.

West Indies captain Jason Holder said it would remain to be seen whether cricket would make a meaningful contribution to the movement.

“Who knows, this could be something serious we could build on and we could get some real positive energy through the group,” he said.

“Only after we sit down and discuss and get a common sense of where everybody’s mind is at, will we then formulate our plans.”