Lothian MSP, Foysol Choudhury, has reacted to the claim by a former member of the Scotland cricket team that everyone should think twice about speaking out about racism.

Mr Choudhury is adamant that racism needs to be tackled not only in sport but also in wider society.

Mr Choudhury is the first Bangladeshi born MSP elected to The Scottish Parliament, and is also Chair of Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council.

Former Scotland international cricketer Qasim Sheikh told the BBC that people should ‘think twice’ before speaking out about racism in sport.

Mr Choudhury said: “Qasim’s comments show just how widespread and unacceptable this problem of racism and discrimination is, not just in sport, but in wider society.

“It is saddening to hear of the abuse Qasim has faced on social media, simply for speaking about his experiences.

“Our society should be encouraging these conversations so that we can uncover and address problems which plague our society, but instead overwhelming social media abuse sadly sets the example to young children that it is dangerous for them to speak about their experiences of racism.

“This problem needs to be tackled both in wider society and in sport, including cricket.

“It is simply unacceptable that Qasim was treated how he was and that, after facing racist abuse, he was discouraged from reporting this at Cricket Scotland and was told he should ‘count himself lucky’ to be there.

“These actions from Cricket Scotland are yet another example that it was indeed institutionally racist, as the Changing the Boundaries Report found last year.

“However, not enough has been done to dismantle this institutional racism since the publishing of the Report.

“There are reports that the newly formed equality, diversity and inclusion working group has only met once since the publishing of the Report.

“This is simply not enough progress and seems to demonstrate a lack of dedication to quickly and effectively de-weed Cricket Scotland of its failures and institutional racism.

“This problem does not need a tick-box exercise in PR, it needs concrete and immediate action.

“Sport should be a space which fosters inclusion, diversity and acceptance, a place where there is accountability and people can raise legitimate concerns without being told they are ‘troublemakers’.

“Unless commitment and intention to remove institutional racism can be demonstrated, Cricket Scotland’s reports on the progress of this issue will not be worth the paper they are written on.

“Action is needed now, and I implore Cricket Scotland to take it for the sake of players, young athletes and wider society in general.

“I have previously met with representatives from Cricket Scotland and Running out Racism and I will be extending an invitation to meet up with them again, so that we can all continue to work together to stamp out racism in sport.”

Foysol Choudhury, MBE, MSP

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