Notes on: Plan4Sport (2022) Changing the Boundaries. The Plan4 Sport Independent Review into Racism in Scottish Cricket. Review findings and high-level recommendations to Sport Scotland. July 2022

Dave Harris

[Companies and organisations fearing lawsuits engage various kinds of expert consultants to commission research in the form of online surveys, meetings or focus groups etc. No need for any particular social science expertise -- get their stories is all you need. Above all, though, the consultants help play the major management game -- the paper chase. Piles of documents need to be reviewed to make sure the language is up to date -- of course it will not be because it changes every six months. In this case, it seems crucial to mention anti-racism and EDI everywhere possible. Better still, you can recommend management change --new reporting and accountability structures and new posts. Findings should appear in the higher bullshit in attractive forms -- the press can be relied upon not to investigate. You will be safe from complaint, for a few months at least, having done all that is reasonable to show your commitment to diversity, equality, anti-racism, intersectionality and lots of other good things. Some people of colour might actually benefit too --a classic case of 'interest convergence']

There are allegations of racism in cricket including a focus on Cricket Scotland which led to an independent review led by 'global equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) experts Plan4Sport' (4). Their mandate was to 'create a confidential space through which anyone could share their experiences of racism and discrimination'. They developed 'five lenses':

Almost a thousand direct engagements where they have 'heard from or read about people's experiences… Contributions from players, coaches, umpires, volunteers and Cricket Scotland… staff members' [face-to-face conversations and online anonymous survey]

68 individual complaints resulting in referrals, 31 of which relate to allegations of racism by 15 people, one regional association and two clubs

Three cricket surveys… 122 people reported experiencing discrimination on the grounds of race and 49 people… On the grounds of religion or belief

Reviewing Cricket Scotland's and its regional associations' policies procedures and processes
Assessing the effectiveness of Cricket Scotland as an organisation at national and regional levels both in terms of antiracism and its ability to govern, lead and manage the game effectively

So, many people shared their stories with 'bravery… honesty and humility'. They did find people who try to make progress, did positive action work to engage diverse communities, and they report some. They further report engaging in 'desktop review, consultation meetings, online surveys, and case management' the first one involved 'an independent look at key documents' looking at equality, diverseness, inclusion, antiracism and human resources, involving 140 documents. They rated these according to red, amber, green or blue qualities [meaning: doesn't exist, in place but no mention of antiracism or EDI, some mention of antiracism or EDI but could improve, antiracism or EDI included to a good level]. 103 people had a consultation meeting which was confidential. They asked them what is going well as well as their experiences of racism and whether they had witnessed discrimination, many were current players as well as former players coaches and umpires. The same approach was devoted to various others including players and high-performance staff and delegates from regional associations. Everyone was allowed to access the online anonymous review of racism survey. People from clubs were asked about antiracism and EDI, their experiences of racism and how they managed reported concerns — and the positive work they were doing. They were chosen at random. Coaches were invited to participate and consulted. They also met various others representatives including one from Running Out Racism.

The anonymous online survey was launched in April 2022 in multiple languages. It received over 70 responses in the first 12 hours and closed with 325 'from across the Scottish cricket community' (9) [how did they know?]. There was also a getting to know you survey which included questions on roles, lengths of time in cricket and diversity information, with 371 people responding [with the two connected?] There was also 'an equality monitoring questionnaire 'so [they] could accurately determine the diversity of this group'. They developed a confidential way to disclose personal experiences and developed 'a triage service' to manage the information which could then be signposted to either Police Scotland, Children First or Cricket Scotland.

They developed a definition of institutional racism from MacPherson. They then developed 31 indicators, based on 'our experience and in our professional opinion… most relevant to cricket, and that we could use to rate Cricket Scotland' . They were developed 'independently of the consultation process so as to avoid any bias in the questions posed to anyone who engaged in the review' [?] (10). They then mapped their findings against these indicators to provide an overall rating, and decided what actions would be needed to move the rating up to at least green. The indicators:

1.Leadership leads on, is accountable, and responsible for tackling racism
2. Transparency is evident in decision-making at all levels [same as 4?]
3. Effective EDI champion at board level
4. Open, inclusive, and transparent recruitment and appointment processes
5. People from ethnically and culturally diverse communities in positions of authority, decision-making and leadership
6. Policies and procedures are followed and monitored for effectiveness
7. EDI policies are reflective and complementary of [sic] safeguarding policies
8. Meaningful antiracism and EDI data is collected and acted on
9. Inappropriate and discriminatory language is effectively challenged and addressed
10. The organisation keeps up-to-date with changes in language relating to racism [the big one I suspect]
11. A culture of banter involving racially aggravated language is not normalised [weird negative tone]
12. Younger players are not exposed to inappropriate language or behaviour in a senior match environment
13. There is widespread agreement on what is discriminatory behaviour
14 People's cultural and religious commitments or practices are anticipated, respected and supported
15. Dated or damaging stereotypes are not heard in cricket [not heard --by whom]
16. People from ethnically and culturally diverse communities are treated the same as others
17. Processes for reporting racism are clear and communicated widely
18. Proportionate number of people from ethnically diverse communities in the on field and off field disciplinary system
19. Allegations are investigated thoroughly and in a timely manner
20. Micro-aggressions that are racially aggravated do not occur [same as 21?]
21. Racially aggravated bullying or harassment does not happen [just does not happen]
22 Selection processes for talent pathways or representative squads are fair and transparent [same as 4?]
23. Criticisms scrutiny and challenge are welcomed and feedback is acted on
24. Racism and social media relating to cricket is addressed or absent [addressed or absent?]
25. Education on racism, racial inequalities and inappropriate language and behaviour is in place
26. Ethnically and culturally diverse communities receive the same treatment in the media or through communications
27. Ethnically and culturally diverse communities are consulted, and their views are listened to and acted on
28. There is a welcoming environment and culture in cricket for ethnically and culturally diverse communities
29. Proactive allyship advances a culture of antiracism and inclusion [US jargon here and in 30]
30. [No 30 , but another 24 ] Affinity bias is addressed and absent
31.The intersectionality of a person's race and other characteristics is not a barrier in cricket [weird --not a barrier]

[Weird negative tone to lots of them, megalomaniac, odd bits like both addressed and absent, probably all mean the same thing or lots of overlap anyway, bits of American antiracism jargon like affinity bias and proactive ally ship, no detail about how these codes were actually arrived at or intercoder reliability achieved]

So, having reminded us that red is bad and blue is good, they go back to their document control and note that '76% of the documents are rated red or amber, 21% green and only 3% blue' (13) they also say it's not sure who the documents actually apply to. Policies lack a fundamental framework. They think they underpin the culture (usual management assumption). They're especially annoyed that there is 'no consideration from an antiracism and EDI perspective', and suggest they need to supply one to create any inclusive culture — at the moment 'the approach is disjointed and inconsistent'. There is no clear accountability for anti-racism and EDI, which they take to mean lack of commitment. The documents needed detailed review (the real issue I suspect) . 'There is limited evidence' that the organisation is 'mitigating' against the risks of discrimination, bullying and harassment and 'no evidence of mitigating against the risk of racism' ('they found no evidence' -- it is essential for insurance purposes and to forestall discrimination cases?) (14). Same goes for their policies which do not refer to the right words or reflect best practice. They don't have accessibility audits, or a mental health and well-being policy. Their procedures do not consider EDI or antiracism. There is a grievance procedure and a code of conduct. They don't have an adequate case management policy. The strategies and plans do not 'address the broader diversity agenda' they have 'no specific plan or strategy related to antiracism or race equality' despite their reference to engaging ethnically diverse communities'. They don't have any basic data about demographics. They have no marketing plan. (They are a thoroughy old-fashioned outfit wide open to claims of discrimination like the ones that rocked Yorkshire Cricket. This audit should forestall those --classic convergence of interest)

They have 'committed to several antiracism and EDI initiatives' (15) and established some sort of planning mechanisms but they need to improve their learning and development 'through to developing competent antiracism and EDI champions' (16) — a thorough review and development 'from antiracism and EDI perspective'. They should share good practice and strengthen their Regional Association policy framework, especially their complaints procedure but above all their 'antiracism EDI policy and statements'

Some individuals have come forward to share their experiences of racism, and sometimes this has led to referrals to Police Scotland as hate crimes (lovely definitions below) or to other disciplinary action. Others did not want further action but had clearly experienced or witnessed racism 'and persistent micro-aggressions based on race during their role as a coach, umpire or player' (18). Examples cited include 'inappropriate use of language' sometimes excused as banter; sledging as an excuse to racially abuse players; lack of understanding of the impact of language and behaviour on individuals; inadequate systems to report racism on and off the pitch; no willingness 'in some instances' to deal with discriminatory incidents; lack of diversity of players, coaches and umpires'. A 'significant number of participants spoke about': 'the lack of leadership from the Board in relation to antiracism; the lack of trust and confidence in Cricket Scotland to manage allegations of racism; the lack of clear and transparent processes; no off field reporting mechanism; that some people who previously raised concerns had been victimised'. There were only limited examples of guidance on cultural awareness or how to engage different communities or the impact of key dates like Ramadan. There is a lack of diversity among coaches, and also among women or people with disabilities. People complained about alcohol without considering the people of different religious practices. One participant complained about relatively excessive membership fees for Southeast Asian players, and the lack of consideration for halal, vegetarian or vegan eaters. Southeast Asian people offered 'numerous accounts' of racism and micro-aggressive behaviour and there was a 'small number of examples' of intercommunity racism 'for example Indian and Pakistani people or Scottish and English people'

There were allegations that racism had not been effectively investigated or not at all, where disciplinary processes were not transparent or inconsistent. 'A significant number of participants' identified a lack of antiracism or EDI training for coaches, umpires, players, captains and volunteers, and regional associations and disciplinary panels. Some complained about the lack of diversity in the cricket Scotland Hall of Fame or, specifically, the Western District Cricket Union.

There were 'examples to suggest' that the Board was mostly concerned with the men's national squad. Some respondents 'were unsure what [the values of Cricket Scotland] were and how they were connected to antiracism and EDI' (21) and other examples also indicated a lack of commitment to antiracism and EDI, for example lack of enthusiasm for funding or for an induction programme, some people pointed to a lack of diverse role models, or an adequate education, the need for workshops, and better communication.

Members agreed that 'all policies, practices and procedures needed to be updated in line with best practice' [the main point and finding of this whole exercise?] (23). There seems to have been a problem with a lack of accountability between the different parts of the structure, between the Board and the Council, for example, complaints of poor leadership, a lack of engagement by senior management, especially in antiracism, all the reporting of concerns generally, a lack of cultural awareness.

'Staff commented on hearing persistent micro-aggressive terms on a regular basis in relation to racism, sexism, and homophobia particularly when meeting Regional Association volunteers' (25).

When invited to discuss their experiences or any other form of discrimination, players said they'd never received EDI, antiracism, cultural awareness or social media training. They had never had an induction nor were they aware of any codes of conduct, which made 'inappropriate language or behaviour… harder to call out', including when it reporting racism or other forms of discrimination. Regional associations reported few reports of racism, and did not feel it was endemic, or not often witnessed [the team doubt this, and quote somebody as saying it was not common because it was 'not a weekly occurrence']. Some said racism was only banter, or that some south-east Asian players were over competitive. There were other forms of discrimination including homophobia and sexism. They agreed that they had not gained particular expertise in managing racism. There was a lack of diversity in the volunteer workforce who ran them. The same picture emerges with clubs — few recollections of racism, more of sexism and discrimination related to disabilities — one club reported no racism but 'used out of date language in the context of race' (28) and another suspected that Southeast Asian players were cheating by 'speaking in their own community language during matches'. Some reported micro-aggressive behaviour towards Southeast Asian players. Some mentioned lack of leadership and support. Generally clubs wanted to learn to make changes and to try and deliver inclusion, however:  they 'were a true credit to the sport' should be prioritised' (29).

The match officials were better trained in antiracism and EDI. The organisation Running Out Racism collaborated with this team of consultants and shared their concerns. They acknowledge that people had experienced racism 'in a wide range of settings', that no one knew of a particular formal process to report it, there was no support in place for people who'd experienced racism, the reports were often delayed, that people did not trust the hierarchy, and that 'some people had chosen to step away from cricket because of their experiences'.

The 68 individual concerns resulting in a referral referred to 31 allegations of racism against 15 people and have been passed on to Cricket Scotland. Some 'occurred recently', while others have been going on 'for a significant length of time' (30). The allegations include: 'racial abuse, the use of inappropriate language, favouritism to young white children from public schools, lack of a transparent selection process for nonwhite players… Other forms of discrimination and employment matters' (30 – 31). There were other racial concerns that did not need a formal complaint, some raised by parents of under 18's who believe their children would be sidelined. One incident was reported to the police and has resulted in a court appearance. The anonymous review led to a further 122 examples and Running Out Racism shared 23 other cases, although these did not lead to an investigation.

Of the survey, the majority were men, 45 – to 54 years old. 73% were white, more than 16% Asian, Scottish Asian or British Asian. 49% did not belong to a religion, 17% Church of Scotland, 11% Muslim. 13% have a physical or mental health condition or illness. 62% 'had experienced, seen, or had reported to them incidents of racism inequalities or discrimination' [it might be important to distinguish between these of course] (32). Of these, 46.4 were race -related, 21.76 related, 18.6 based on religion or belief. Where they had experienced, seen or had discrimination, 'it was either aimed at someone else and they observed it' (69.8%) or it was directly aimed at them (49.1%) [so those experiencing racial discrimination gets smaller and smaller]. For 'race discrimination specifically, 34% of respondents had experienced this personally'. 41% of respondents took no action because they had no confidence it would be managed properly. Where they did report concerns this was primarily to a team captain, committee member or match official, so it is 'more likely to relate to on-field discrimination issues' (32). They were also asked to review a series of statements and rate them: 59% agreed or strongly agreed that Cricket Scotland will implement the recommendations of the review, but this fell to 38% from nonwhite backgrounds. 48% believe that the Cricket Scotland board has communicated their commitment to EDI, and 41% believe that it has demonstrated that it respects people from different backgrounds. 23% agreed or strongly agreed that regional associations reflect the make-up of the wider cricket community. Only 18% agreed or strongly agreed that regional associations tackle racism effectively, only 22% agree that match officials manage racism effectively. 25% agree that coaches reflect the make-up of the wider community. 54% of nonwhite people disagree or strongly disagree that 'anyone had an opportunity to progress into the Scottish national squads regardless of their background'. 36% agree that club management committees reflect the make-up of the community, 33% for club coaches. 26% agree racism is tackled effectively. 59% of respondents believe clubs are open and welcoming to all. 71% believe everyone has the opportunity to play cricket regardless of their background, even 51% from nonwhite backgrounds. 55% see the grassroots programs as open and welcoming to all. [A bit of contradictory findings here, some strangely negative statements again to agree or disagree with]

Once they done all the consultations, summaries, desktop analysis and all the rest of it they identified any re-occurring themes and mapped them against their indicators. They identified 448 separate examples that mapped against one of the indicators and produced them in the wonderful table that appears in all the press reports. 29 are graded red and 2 are graded amber, none are graded green [as in the headlines]. Amber, we are reminded means that Cricket Scotland partially meets the indicator 'but there is still work to do to meet this in full'.

After quoting MacPherson again, the review concludes that Cricket Scotland meets the definition of institutional racism, and are aware that other investigations might lead them to conclude 'that institutional racism exists in other areas of the game'. [so more work for them]

Other recommendations include that Cricket Scotland is placed in special measures by Sport Scotland, that they recruit new board members, that they should be more diverse, they should develop an action plan, appoint a special antiracism and EDI manager, discipline manager, HR manager, review their governance under the insight of Sport Scotland. That in particular they should suspend Western District Cricket Union and review it, that they should use a third party to address the backlog in referals. Generate lots more policies and education programs.

Longer term they should [do much more shouldy things] — manage racism effectively, create an inclusive culture, develop effective governance on antiracism and EDI, better leadership, inclusive delivery, more diversity and so on.

The appendices seem to indicate that a lot of this guidelines stuff comes from UK Sport.

They have useful a definition of hate incident: 'any incident which is perceived by the victim or any other person [sic] to be motivated (wholly or partly) [sic] by malice and ill will towards a social group but which does not constitute a criminal offence (non-crime incident) — and this is referenced to Police Scotland! For hate crime, there are apparently five social groups protected under this legislation [!]: disability or presumed disability, race or presumed race, which includes 'countries within the UK and Gypsy/Traveller groups'; religion or presumed religion (any religious group, including those who have no faith); sexual orientation or presumed sexual orientation (sexual orientation towards person of the same sex or of the opposite sex or towards both); transgender identity or presumed transgender identity.

They define affinity bias as 'the natural tendency to gravitate towards people who are most like us… We also naturally distance ourselves from others whom we perceive as different… Those belonging to minority groups… Are more likely to struggle to find the support and opportunities to progress in their career… Even women… Can be affected… The effect is often self-perpetuating, so unless we choose to actively challenge this bias, we cannot expect to improve [but isn't it natural?]. If you belong to multiple minority groups, this can increase the perception of difference and have an even more serious impact… Affinity bias especially impacts women of colour' (43).

They use the definition of micro-aggression in the Cambridge English dictionary — 'a small act or remark that makes someone feel insulted or treated badly because of their race, sex, et cetera even though the insults, et cetera may not have been intended, and that can combine with other similar acts or remarks over time to cause emotional harm' (44). They give an example 'which often occurs in the workplace' — making sweeping generalisations about black people or other ethnic minority groups or not "being able" to tell people of a certain ethnic group apart' (45)… It is common for BAME people to be asked where they are from' and if they say they are British, this sometimes leads to further questioning. The first question 'could be entirely innocent, and some may ask this question believing they are showing a genuine interest in the individual. However, it is a question often loaded with negativity… [It] may indicate to the receiver that the asker perceives them as "other"'… One should think twice before asking them' especially if white people are not asked the same question. Another example might be 'commenting on, with surprise , a BAME person's articulateness. Although seemingly a compliment (and may indeed be intended as such), this comment demonstrates that the commentator may have been affected by the negative stereotype… That the asker sees the BAME person is different/other'

The list of policies and documents they require is huge — four pages