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26 May 2021

Racing re-affirms its commitment to diversity and inclusion on the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder

Racing marked the anniversary of the murder of George Floyd by re-sharing its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

BHA Chair Annamarie Phelps said: “George Floyd’s tragic death continues to have a huge impact and has changed the narrative and understanding around racism and discrimination globally. It led to black communities all over the world sharing how racism and discrimination affects them, opening many people’s eyes to this issue. Racing is no less impacted, Josh Apiafi, Sean Levey, Rishi Persad, and Sulekha Varma generously opened up and shared publicly their personal experiences of working in our sport.

“In November 2020, the BHA Board invited Rishi to share his experiences and views on racing’s approach to diversity. We agreed the need to have an open, progressive and respectful debate about diversity, for both moral reasons and in the interests of the long-term health of the industry.

“Following this, industry leaders, through the Members’ Committee, agreed that there is no place for discrimination in racing and that the sport must unite in standing against it in all its forms.

Addressing racism in racing

“With this in mind, following a recommendation from the Diversity in Racing Steering Group, next month industry leaders will participate in an executive briefing with Shereen Daniels, an advocate for anti-racism in business, Vice Chair of the Black Business Association with London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Managing Director of HR rewired.

“We want to make sure we play our part in supporting our ethnically diverse colleagues and participants, in particular. This isn’t to the exclusion of everyone else, but to demonstrate that for centuries all parts of our society have struggled to grapple with racial discrimination. Racing is typically welcoming to anyone interested in our sport, but I’m sure there is more we can do at the top of the sport to understand and address the barriers to attracting the employees and customers of tomorrow.”

The BHA’s commitment to greater understanding and action on ethnicity will build on existing initiatives in the sport, including:

  • The Careers in Racing “Step on Track” programme designed to introduce young people from Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds to the horseracing industry.
  • The Pony Racing Authority Pathway which is helping find ways into the sport for young people with no links to racing. 
  • Take The Reins – a sports-based not-for-profit organisation working primarily through and in the racing industry to support and deliver positive outcomes for young people and communities. 
  • The Riding a Dream Academy supporting talented young riders from underrepresented communities get involved in British horseracing. 

Sky Sports Content

On Tuesday 25May, Sky Sports are using their platform to discuss ethnicity and racism. Sky will be profiling many different sports, including racing which will be the focus at 8am with interviews with trainer Neil Mulholland and a member of his team, Ashleigh Wicheard. Watch The Uncomfortable Race in full below.

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