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Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE Says She Fears Social Media Backlash Against Her Anti-Racism Stance |  Cricket News


“They are less obvious than in my generation, but there are still prejudices and stereotypes and young people feel it and they feel badly judged,” said Rainford-Brent after receiving the MBE award in the list of honors of the queen for her services to cricket and charity

Last updated: 06/11/21 4:10 PM

Ebony Rainford-Brent is President of the African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) Program and Director of the Chance To Shine charity.

Ebony Rainford-Brent says she shut down her social media in anticipation of a backlash against her video on racism in cricket and society in general with Michael Holding last summer.

Rainford-Brent, who was named MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honors for service to cricket and charity, spoke forcefully in the video about the abuse she suffered during her playing days and the Black Lives Matter movement, following The Murder of George Floyd in the United States earlier that year.

It was broadcast on Air sports on the opening day of the first Test between England and the West Indies, and Rainford-Brent recalled, “I thought it was going to be a tank, with the way Twitter is and cancel the crop right now.

“I was really nervous that we were doing this piece. I turned off all of my social media and thought most people would just say ‘we’re not interested, we’re starving for sports because of the pandemic, why do we want to listen to you talk about this when we want to watch cricket? “

Instead, Rainford-Brent described the response as “mind-boggling.” The video led to Sky’s coverage of the first test which won a Bafta award last week.

She added: “It showed me that the world is ready to talk about these kinds of issues and I think that is why the play was well received, because maybe it was not in your consciousness. and that the play brought it to your awareness. Or it was something that was close to your heart but that you may not have had a chance to talk about, and [it showed that] you could.”

In addition to her commentary work for Sky and the BBC, the 37-year-old former England international is the chair of the African Caribbean Engagement (ACE) program which was set up by Surrey to deal with the sharp drop in attendance. cricket among members of the black community.

Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE Says She Fears Social Media Backlash Against Her Anti-Racism Stance |  Cricket News

Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE Says She Fears Social Media Backlash Against Her Anti-Racism Stance |  Cricket News 10:03
The ACE Charity program aims to engage young people of African and Caribbean descent after a 75% drop in the number of black players playing professional cricket. This is the story of the program so far …

The ACE Charity program aims to engage young people of African and Caribbean descent after a 75% drop in the number of black players playing professional cricket. This is the story of the program so far …

In October last year, his work was supported by a grant of £ 540,000 from Sport England and now works with the black community in London, Birmingham and Bristol.

“We are seeing some really positive effects for the game and I can’t wait for our first player to get through the system,” she said.

When asked if the environment for young black girls and boys had improved after the heartbreaking experience she recounts in the Sky video, she replied, “I would like to say that we have moved on. don’t think we’ve had enough, and working with young people, I think there are still challenges.

“They are less obvious than in my generation but there are still prejudices and stereotypes and young people feel it and they feel badly judged.

Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE Says She Fears Social Media Backlash Against Her Anti-Racism Stance |  Cricket News

Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE Says She Fears Social Media Backlash Against Her Anti-Racism Stance |  Cricket News 3:24
Ebony Rainford-Brent says her ACE program charity wants to make cricket stronger by making sure the game is more diverse and representative of society as a whole

Ebony Rainford-Brent says her ACE program charity wants to make cricket stronger by making sure the game is more diverse and representative of society as a whole

“What I would say though, is that the culture of listening is better, so now I know that if there is a problem or a challenge, there is a space to start talking about those problems.”

She believes cricket still lacks enough diversity in positions of power.

“He’s the one that needs a lot of work,” she said. “There have been changes – the ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) is calling on Baroness Amos which I hope will have an impact.

“I think we need to bring in new voices that are leaders in other spaces. If you don’t have people in positions of power, those conversations don’t really fit in.”

Rainford-Brent, who is also a director of the Chance To Shine charity, rose through the ranks in Surrey, settling into cricket as his sport of choice after excelling in football and basketball.

Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE Says She Fears Social Media Backlash Against Her Anti-Racism Stance |  Cricket News

Ebony Rainford-Brent MBE Says She Fears Social Media Backlash Against Her Anti-Racism Stance |  Cricket News 6:45 a.m.
Ebony Rainford-Brent explains Surrey’s ACE program – an initiative that hopes to increase cricket participation in the Afro-Caribbean community

Ebony Rainford-Brent explains Surrey’s ACE program – an initiative that hopes to increase cricket participation in the Afro-Caribbean community

She admits that one of the initial attractions was the settings cricket took her to and the strategic nature of the sport.

“I remember going to Arundel Castle in Sussex and it was beautiful. I remember thinking ‘it’s so different from our surroundings,’ she said.

“I used to go to downtown London, go to Brixton Market, and I just remember realizing there was a whole other world.”

Her talent took her around the world and into the England setup, and she was part of the squad that won the World Cup, World Twenty20 and retained the Ashes within three months.

A career-threatening back injury at age 19, however, made her responsible, she now admits.

“I fell in a pretty dark place, there was a little bit of depression,” she said.

“I was bedridden and thought my whole world was lost. I really felt like a few years of my life had been sucked up.

“I think that’s why sport is such a teacher. You learn resilience, dig deep and I think coming back has given me so much character development for a lifetime.

“It was definitely the lowest part of all my time as a player. But I would also say it was the best experience in hindsight because it gave me so much.”

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