The British Horseracing Authority, The Horsemen's Group and the Racecourse Association released a joint statement on Friday concerning diversity in racing. The statement comes on the heels of television presenter Rishi Persad receiving negative feedback for speaking out against racism in recent days, responses the groups say they condemn. The BHA invited Persad to join its scheduled meeting on Wednesday to share his views on racing's approach to diversity.
The joint statement read, “Racing prides itself on the welcome it gives to all. We want to engage fans from all communities and we want talented people, whatever their background, to be able to succeed in our sport. However, our industry's leaders acknowledge that pockets of discrimination exist in all areas of society, and our sport is no different. All are agreed that this has no place in our industry and that the sport must unite in standing against discrimination of any kind in racing. We can, and will, do better on this front.
“We pride ourselves on the respect we show for our horses and for the sport's rules and traditions. We are a sport which has embraced diversity in many ways, including people of all genders competing on equal terms. We must welcome constructive debate on any issue, but we expect all those in our sport to show respect to each other when competing and when discussing our sport and its future.”