Sam Radford

June 9, 2021

No redemption

Here in England this last week there’s been a story in the sports pages about a debutant playing his first match for the England cricket team.

Sadly, the story hasn’t been about his cricketing prowess.

Instead it’s been all about some tweets he posted.

Nine years ago.

When he was a teenager.

And here’s the thing: they were vile. Racist and sexist.

They deserve to be called out. It’s right that he owns up to his behaviour – even if it was a former version of himself.

However, the English Cricket Board (ECB) have suspended him ‘pending an investigation’. (Not quite sure what’s left to investigate?) Pretty sure we know all we need to know.

But, as is the rage in the current climate, organisations feel like they have to be seen to being firm on these issues.

My worry is that suspending an English cricketer is all too easy. And, perhaps, mere virtue signalling. I’m more interested in what the ECB are doing to actually eradicate racism and sexism throughout English cricket.

It’s not just that though. In our present atmosphere of naming and shaming people’s misdemeanors (of which I fully support), we have to leave room for redemption. For forgiveness. For second chances.

We need to still allow people to make mistakes, to learn, and to grow.

I get that everything has been heavily stacked in favour of the perpetrators of sexism and racism. And that does need to be levelled. But not at the expense of cutting off redemption and forgiveness. That is not cultural progress.  

–Sam

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@samradford | samradford.com