Chris Jordan and David Lawrence discuss Racial Discrimination in Cricket
Royal London, the UKs largest mutual life and pensions provider, has today published the first episode of The Changing Room, a three-part video series in partnership with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
Inclusion begins in the changing room; The Changing Room series is here to bring you the conversations that matter. From the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground changing room in London, we’ve invited people from all walks of cricket, from professionals to grassroots, to speak about the challenges they face. As well as discussing how we can keep making progress on important issues like discrimination and women’s equality.
In this first episode, Professional England Men’s Cricketer Chris Jordan joins former England Player and President of Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, David ‘Syd’ Lawrence, to talk about their personal experiences of racial discrimination and what they believe needs to happen to make cricket a more inclusive sport.
Chris Jordan reflects that: “Six months ago the World Cup obviously didn’t go our way. Social media was relentless for me. People felt I had a big part to do with that… The real change will come from within, we need to have real conversations and continue [people’s] education”
David Lawrence remarks: “I want to see more change off the field within all these corporations - there's got to be more representation for people of colour… If I have a problem as a cricketer, I want to be able to speak to someone else of colour who understands what I'm saying. For now, there are not enough Black coaches, there are not enough Black umpires - why is that pathway so difficult?”
Susie Logan, group chief marketing officer at Royal London said: “The Changing Room is giving people a voice and a platform to share their stories from across the breadth of cricket. We’re immensely proud to work in partnership with the ECB to highlight these issues and the positive change taking place to make cricket a more inclusive sport.”
Royal London is a partner of The ACE Programme (African-Caribbean Engagement), which was originally set up by Surrey County Cricket Club in 2020 to address the 75% decline in professional Black British players.
To date, the ACE Programme has trialled hundreds of young people, launched its own academy, and given out 110 scholarships, one of whom has been Dylan Young, who provides a heartening account of the progress being made in the modern era. He is optimistic about the future for African-Caribbean cricketers.
ACE Scholar, Dylan Young, said: “ACE has given the youth a voice, given them more opportunity to get proper training, good facilities and constant matches.”
Chief Diversity and Communications Officer at the ECB, Kate Miller, said: “We are proud to be working with Royal London to shine a light on the most important issues in our sport. The whole game is working hard to tackle the challenges which Chris, David and Dylan have discussed in this episode, and through our actions we will continue to make progress to ensure cricket is welcoming and inclusive for all.”
Royal London are dedicated to levelling the playing field across sport and society. The Changing Room series – having the conversations that matter. Watch episode 1 here.