PCA chief apologises for Moeen comments

England

Professional Cricketers' Association chief Angus Porter had been forced to backtrack after making comments that downplayed racist chanting towards Moeen Ali, saying he condemns such behaviour.

Professional Cricketers' Association chief Angus Porter had been forced to backtrack after making comments that downplayed racist chanting towards Moeen Ali, saying he condemns such behaviour.

Moeen was the subject of boos and abusive chanting during an ODI and a T20 at Edgbaston, while playing for England against India. The heckling came primarily from India fans, apparently due to Moeen's Pakistani heritage.

When asked about it earlier in the week, Porter said that Ali should 'take it as a compliment' as it showed he was feared as a player, and that "you'd rather be booed than ignored".

This did not go down well with the public and in the media, and Porter then told the <i>Daily Telegraph</i>: "I made a mistake by suggesting racism does not matter and I do condemn it unreservedly.

"I started by saying that in the interview but I also tried to play down the situation because Moeen does not want it to become a major issue. But in trying to play it down I succeeded in doing the reverse and I am sorry.

"It is very important that I make it clear that racist behaviour is condemned unequivocally and I am happy to say that."

He added in a statement on the PCA website: "I would like to clarify comments I made in a telephone conversation with a reporter from the Press Association, which have been interpreted as meaning I do not regard racism as a serious matter.

"I want to make it clear I believe racist attitudes and behaviour are unacceptable, at any level, in professional cricket, or in any walk of life.

"Moeen Ali has the full support of the PCA, as do all our members."

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