Race Equality Week: We must keep being outspoken and drive the change

Race Equality Week aims to address the barriers to race equality in the workplace. 

The concern for Race Equality Matters – the organisation that runs the awareness campaign – is that many companies and organisations ‘jumped on the bandwagon’ of race equality following the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent global Black Lives Matter protests, without taking the meaningful steps to truly affect change.  

Therefore, through the ‘Big Promise’ initiative, it is asking individuals and/or organisations to make a measurable public commitment to create positive change.   

Here Head of HR and Governance Antony Platt shares his thoughts on race equality at Basketball England.

Basketball England’s CEO Stewart Kellett wrote in the summer of 2020 that we would stand with our players, coaches and the whole community against racism, pledging to play our part in opposing hate. And that remains our promise still.  

In the inaugural race representation index, which is conducted by charity Sporting Equals and tracks race representation across UK sports bodies annually, Basketball England received an ‘A’ grade, meaning strong progress had been made on racial diversity in the sport across areas of policy, strategy, workforce, coaching and elite talent. And although full details of the second index are yet to be published, early indications suggest we have held on to this grade for 2022. 

While we are very pleased with our index score, we cannot become complacent, and have continued to push on key areas of work and changes in our culture, reach, policy and processes to achieve much more. This includes major shifts in the diversity of our paid workforce and gathering more insight on the barriers and motivations to playing, coaching, officiating, employment and top level of management for ethnically diverse communities.  

As head of human resources and governance, I am hugely passionate about this area of work and believe we continue to build an anti-racist organisation through the way we recruit, hire and educate our employees. Bringing real change and breaking barriers is central to our planning and operations.  

We have revised our recruitment practices to add a stronger, safer and more inclusive process, including increasing the range of platforms we use to advertise employment opportunities and bringing together ethnically diverse selection panels. Additionally, by adopting the hybrid working model, our workforce is no longer restricted by geography, we can employ people from across the UK effectively, making it easier for people to work for us and thus widening our pool of potential candidates. Reputationally, people are looking at Basketball England now and seeing an opportunity to be amongst a diverse group of people, with a diverse set of skills.  

The culture at Basketball England is open and transparent and attracts people who are open minded and willing to take the time to learn about equality, diversity and inclusion.  

With the support of our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which was formed in 2021 to help us take a stronger approach to tackling discrimination and promoting fairness and respect across basketball, there’s an openness to learn about challenging subject matter, whether its unconscious bias, micro aggressions, the use of language, etc. 

It’s good to be an exemplary organisation but to truly tackle inequality, you must keep being outspoken and drive the change.  

I am really excited for our new ED&I strategy to be published in 2023, as we continue to work towards our vision of making basketball accessible to everyone. 


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