Yorkshire acknowledges Azeem Rafiq was a victim of racial harassment

back icon
safari
10 Sep 2021 | 11:12 AM
authorPTI

Yorkshire acknowledges Azeem Rafiq was a victim of racial harassment

Rafiq was Yorkshire's youngest ever captain when he led the team in a T20 match in 2012

English county cricket team Yorkshire has acknowledged that one of its former players was the victim of racial harassment and bullying. Azeem Rafiq, a former England Under-19 captain, said in interviews last year that as a Muslim he was made to feel like an "outsider" during his time at Yorkshire from 2008-18 and that he was close to taking his own life.

Rafiq was Yorkshire's youngest ever captain when he led the team in a Twenty20 match in 2012. A formal investigation was commissioned by Yorkshire into Rafiq's claims and a summary of an independent panel's findings and recommendations was finally published on Friday.

Yorkshire said Rafiq made more than 40 allegations, seven of which were upheld in the report. "There is no question that Azeem Rafiq, during his first spell as a player at YCCC, was the victim of racial harassment," Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton said.

"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."

The report found Rafiq, whose first spell at Yorkshire was from 2008-14, had not been provided with halal food at matches, something which has now been rectified. It found there were three instances of racist language being used prior to 2010, which amounted to harassment on the grounds of race. In 2012, a former coach regularly used racist language, the report said.

During Rafiq's second spell, from 2016-18, jokes around religion were made which left individuals feeling uncomfortable, the report found. Also in that time frame, a reference was made to Rafiq's weight and fitness which amounted to bullying. The report also accepted that there was a failure by the club in August 2018 to follow up on allegations Rafiq made at that time.

The final allegation to be upheld was that on a number of occasions prior to 2018, the club could have done more to make Muslims feel more welcome within their stadiums and should have dealt better with complaints of racism and anti-social behavior within those stadiums.

The report did find, however, there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the club was institutionally racist. It also found that all decisions made concerning Rafiq's selection and ultimate release from the club were entirely based on cricketing reasons.

"I am confident the responsible way that the report has been received by the whole club, together with the clear and collective determination to enthusiastically embrace its recommendations, is an important moment in our journey to become more thoughtful, more inclusive, and to make sure that every aspect of the club fully lives up to the spirit of the great game of cricket," Hutton said.

heart
shareGray Share
Tags
YorkshireAzeem Rafiq

Related Articles

safari
NEWS
Yorkshire apologise to Rafiq after investigation into racism allegations
Rafiq filed a legal complaint in December 2020 claiming to have suffered direct discrimination and harassment on the grounds of race
userAFP
19 Aug 2021
safari
NEWS
Rafiq files legal complaint against Yorkshire over race row
The 29-year-old, once the youngest captain in the county's history, initially spoke out in August about the racist abuse and has now taken legal action
userAFP
16 Dec 2020
safari
NEWS
Pujara was called 'Steve' at Yorkshire, racist reference to people of colour, reveals former staff
Former off-spinner Rafiq who left Yorkshire in 2018, said he had been close to committing suicide after what he experienced
userPTI
05 Dec 2020
safari
NEWS
Moeen insists he has not experienced racism in English cricket
Moeen, who has made 200 international appearances, vowed to again become an England regular
userAFP
19 Nov 2020
safari
NEWS
Rafiq stands by allegations that he faced racism in Yorkshire
The off-spinner made claims that he was "ridiculed" for not drinking and was excluded from social events as a result
userPTI
14 Nov 2020
safari
NEWS
Rana Naved claims he endured racist abuse from Yorkshire fans
Rana alleges he was subjected to racist slurs and hooting from the home crowd when he played for Yorkshire in 2008 and 2009
userAFP
16 Sep 2020
safari
NEWS
Yorkshire cricketer says 'racism' left him close to suicide
"I know how close I was to committing suicide during my time at Yorkshire," said Rafiq who made his first-class debut for Yorkshire in 2009
userAFP
04 Sep 2020
safari
NEWS
Dom Bess to join Yorkshire from Somerset
The 23-year-old, who had a loan spell at Headingley last year, has signed a four-year deal with his new county
userAFP
03 Sep 2020
safari
NEWS
Tim Bresnan leaves Yorkshire after 19 years
Bresnan helped Yorkshire win back-to-back County Championships in 2014 and 2015, with the bulk of his 557 first-class wickets taken on behalf of the 'White Rose' club
userAFP
18 Jun 2020
safari
NEWS
India spinner Ashwin signs up with Yorkshire for county stint
Ashwin is scheduled to feature in a minimum of eight County Championship fixtures
userPTI
16 Jan 2020
logo
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
FacebookTwitterLinkedin
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved