Yorkshire apologises to Azeem Rafiq over Racism Ordeal

Azeem Rafiq had accused Yorkshire County Cricket Club of racism. The club has now issued an apology to the cricketer.

Yorkshire apologises to Azeem Rafiq over Racism Allegations f

"the victim of racial harassment."

Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) have issued an apology to Azeem Rafiq following his allegations of racist abuse.

The former player had said that he was made to feel like an outsider while on the team due to his religion.

It allegedly got so serious that Rafiq even considered taking his own life while playing for the club between 2008 and 2014.

He had said: “I know how close I was to committing suicide during my time at Yorkshire.

“I was living my family’s dream as a professional cricketer, but inside I was dying. I was dreading going to work. I was in pain every day.

“There were times I did things to try and fit in that, as a Muslim, I now look back on and regret. I’m not proud of it at all.

“But as soon as I stopped trying to fit in, I was an outsider. Do I think there is institutional racism? It’s at its peak in my opinion. It’s worse than it’s ever been.

“My only motivation now is to prevent anyone else feeling the same pain.”

The 30-year-old made over 40 allegations during this time and later returned to the club for a two-year spell in 2016.

These complaints forced the club to launch an independent investigation by law firm Squire Patton Boggs on Friday, August 13, 2021.

Just six days later, it was concluded that Rafiq had indeed been “the victim of inappropriate behaviour” and was offered “profound apologies.”

The former captain responded by accusing the club of downplaying racism.

The England and Wales Cricket Board and MPs also asked for the results of the investigations to be published “immediately.”

YCCC has now published a statement with the findings of their investigation.

It stated that seven of the complaints were upheld.

This included not being provided halal food at matches which has since been rectified and a pre-2021 coach regularly using racist language.

Club chairman Roger Hutton also added his own apology.

He said: “There is no question that Azeem Rafiq, during his first spell as a player at YCCC, was the victim of racial harassment.

“He was also subsequently the victim of bullying.”

“On behalf of all at YCCC, I wish to extend my sincere, profound and unreserved apologies to Azeem and to his family.”

However, the report found that there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the club was institutionally racist.

It also said that Rafiq’s selection and his departure from the cricket club were entirely based on cricketing reasons.

Hutton added: “It is a matter of sincere regret that the good work of so many people at the Club – both with Azeem and in our efforts to build an inclusive and welcoming cricket club representing the best of all of Yorkshire – is at risk of being overshadowed by the behaviour and remarks of a few people.”

Naina is a journalist interested in Scottish Asian news. She enjoys reading, karate and independent cinema. Her motto is "Live like others don't so you can live like others won't."

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