Horse racing in Britain needs to become more “diverse” the sport was told at an industry awards night at which 90 per cent of nominees were white.
Speaking at the Godolphin Stud and Stable Staff Awards in London on Monday, British Horseracing Authority (BHA) chief Nick Rust said the sport needs to question whether it has a problem with “unconscious bias”.
The betting industry bigwig slammed figures which showed that nine in 10 of the 265 nominations received for the awards, which mark the contributions of around 6,000 people who work in Britain’s horse racing and breeding industries, were from a white British or Irish background.
“We need to look at what lies behind this and ensure far better representation across the various minority groups in future years,” the Racing Post reported Rust as saying.
The fact that the United Kingdom as a whole was reported to be 87.17 per cent white in the last national census in 2011 does not appear to have been considered as a reasonable explanation.
Rust boasted to guests about the recently formed “diversity in racing steering group”, and went on to assert that the sport must work to challenge “whether there exists a conscious or unconscious bias within our industry when it comes to issues such as gender, race or disability.”
Culture secretary Matt Hancock also spoke at the event, where he told guests he would give horse racing “all the support I possibly I can” and issued “a huge vote of thanks on behalf of the British government” to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Vice-president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Ruler of Dubai, for creating and sponsoring the awards.
The West Suffolk MP has regularly stressed that industries must, in the name of “diversity”, work to reduce the proportion of white, able-bodied males among staff they employ, in his role as Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport,
Hancock also pushed for so-called diversity in his previous role as skills minister, in 2014 handing £4 million of taxpayers’ money to Creative Access, an organisation which offers highly desirable paid internships and training opportunities at the UK’s top media organisations, but only for people who are not white.
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