A photograph has surfaced online showing English cricketer Alex Hales in blackface.
Hales and a bunch of other well-known cricketers have been embroiled in serious racism allegations over the past week following Azeem Rafiq's statements in parliament.
Rafiq - who recently had to apologise for his own anti-semitic comments - opened up on his awful experiences of racism and discrimination during his time at Yorkshire CCC, with some of the game's biggest names being mentioned in his testimonies - Hales being one of them.
Struggling to contain his emotions, Rafiq accused the ex-English Test cricketer of naming his black dog after a racial slur, claiming "Kevin" is actually what some members of the team referred to anyone "of colour" as.
With his character already under scrutiny, the emergence of this latest picture doesn't do Hales and favours and has brought yet more shame to the sport of cricket in a week where the integrity of the game has come into question.
It's understood the photograph was taken back in 2009 when Hales was attending a New Year's Eve musical tribute fancy dress party.
Hales attended dressed as rap legend Tupac Shakur, but thought it'd be necessary to paint his face black too.
This picture has only just been discovered and officials aren't happy.
"This picture - coming on the back of a week when cricket was shamed like never before - is incredibly disturbing and offensive," MP Julian Knight said.
"The very soul of English cricket is now at stake."
Elsewhere, chief executive of Hope Not Hate Nick Lowles, added: "There is no scenario in which blackface is acceptable. To describe it as a 'tribute' is beyond reproach."
It's understood the English Cricket Board (ECB) has now launched an official probe into the matter with "procedures in place to address conduct and allegations of this nature and we will investigate accordingly".
As for Hales himself, he has now given an explanation for his actions.
"In 2009, I attended a New Year's Eve musical tribute fancy dress party," he said.
"I dressed in tribute to my musical hero, Tupac Shakur, someone who I've admired from childhood and, at the time, did not realise the offensive nature of this.
"I echo my statement from earlier in the week and stress how much I deplore racism and discrimination in all its forms."
Featured Image Credit: PA
- Mitchell Johnson in fiery confrontation after Indian cricketer allegedly sledged the female umpires
- Last Ever Photograph Taken Of Shane Warne Surfaces After Death
- Alex Scott wears the 'One Love' armband during BBC coverage ahead of England World Cup opener
- England Cricket Coach's Baffling Comments After Ashes Defeats