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Alex Hales apologises for 'incredibly disrespectful' blackface incident

Nottinghamshire expand investigation after photos emerge of Hales at fancy dress party in 2009

Alex Hales looks on, Brisbane Heat vs Sydney Thunder, BBL 2020-21, Canberra, January 31, 2021

Alex Hales is currently in Australia ahead of the Big Bash  •  CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images

Alex Hales has apologised and will be subject to an investigation by Nottinghamshire after the publication of photos of him in blackface.
Hales said that posing as the rapper Tupac Shakur at a fancy dress party in 2009 was "incredibly disrespectful" and one of the "decisions I'll regret for the rest of my life", after the revelation in the Sun newspaper - the latest in English cricket's ongoing reckoning around the subject of race and discrimination.
"The theme was musicians and Tupac is, was and always will be my favourite musician, so I went as him," Hales said in a statement. "I obviously realise that this is incredibly disrespectful and I want to apologise for all the offence this has no doubt caused.
"It was incredibly reckless and foolish on my behalf, so I want to apologise for that, apologise to the club for the embarrassment it would have caused them.
"I guess my twenties was full of mistakes like that, reckless mistakes off the field that cost me, let down family, let down team-mates, let down friends, close relationships I had during my twenties.
"Some of those decisions I'll regret for the rest of my life, and the last few years being away from the spotlight a little bit has given me a chance to try and better myself as a human, keep getting better at cricket, but getting better off the field as well. It's something I feel like I've done, and I'm continuing to strive to do."
Hales had earlier in the week denied any racial connotations to the naming of his dog "Kevin". Azeem Rafiq, the former Yorkshire allrounder who alleged institutional racism at the club, said in testimony before the Department for Culture, Media and Sport select committee that the word "Kevin" was used by Gary Ballance - a former England team-mate of Hales - to describe people of colour.
Rafiq described it as "an open secret in the England dressing room" and alleged that Hales had subsequently named his dog "Kevin" because it was black.
Nottinghamshire, Hales' county, have now expanded their investigation into his past behaviour to include the photo in blackface.
"Alex is currently in Australia ahead of the Big Bash League and is due to return to Nottinghamshire in the new year to prepare for his commitment to the club in the T20 Blast," read a club statement. "Alex will be subject to the club's established disciplinary process and has indicated his willingness to participate in the investigation."
Hales, 32, has not played for England since 2019, following his suspension in the run-up to the World Cup after a second positive drugs test for a recreational substance.