Ebony Rainford-Brent: Former England cricketer shares racist letter she received

The 37-year-old, who became the first Black woman to play for England’s cricket team in 2001, shared a picture of the letter on Twitter Wednesday, during a week when the sport’s issues with racism have been laid bare.

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

The letter contained a number of racist and sexist slurs​ and referred multiple times to “White culture.”

It comes after former cricket player Azeem Rafiq ​gave testimony describing a pattern of racist and discriminatory behavior within English cricket​, speaking to UK lawmakers on Tuesday.
Throughout 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 broadcasting.

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 following the police murder of George Floyd.

“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 noticed that as soon as I walked into the world of cricket, the comments started.

“I had comments about where I grew up, and the fact that I had a long name, maybe my mum didn’t know who my dad was; about my hair, body parts, especially the derriere shall we say; about the food that I ate and that it stank.

“I question myself why I stayed so long. I love the game, it has so much more to offer, but it can be really difficult dealing with that day in and day out.”

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