Somerset seamer Jack Brooks has issued an apology to Indian star Cheteshwar Pujara for his racist behaviour during the latter’s time at Yorkshire. Notably, Pujara had represented Yorkshire in the year 2015 and 2018.
Brooks had termed Pujara ‘Steve’ while they both played for Yorkshire because he struggled to pronounce the India star’s forename.
Earlier in the week, Brooks’ name had appeared in Azeem Rafiq’s testimony in front of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee. Rafiq had revealed that Brooks had begun the practice of referring to Pujara as ‘Steve’.
“With reference to my naming in Azeem Rafiq’s statement to MPs this week, the use of the name ‘Steve’ related to some people having difficult names to pronounce. When this has occurred in the past in a dressing room environment, it has been commonplace to give nicknames, regardless of creed or race. I admit to having used it in this context and now accept that it was disrespectful and wrong to do so,” said Brooks as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
“I have reached out and apologised to Cheteshwar for any offence that I have caused him or his family. At the time, I didn’t recognise this as racist behaviour, but I can now see that it was not acceptable,” he added.
Brooks has also apologised for using racist language in tweets dating back to 2012. He had used the word “n**o” on Twitter nine years ago with England bowler Tymal Mills and Stewart Laudat.
“I acknowledge that the language used in two tweets I made in 2012 was unacceptable, and I deeply regret using it. I unreservedly apologise for any offence caused to anybody who may have seen these tweets,” revealed Brooks.
“The two players to whom I sent the tweets are my friends, and it was certainly not my intention to cause distress or offence to them or anyone who read them. It is my understanding that neither individual was offended at the time, but I accept that language is important and that a word I used may have caused offence to others,” Brooks added further.