Azeem Rafiq, a journalist and presenter with the BBC Asian Network was giving evidence to the DCMS select committee hearing into racism at Yorkshire. In an emotional testimony, Azeem told his personal experience of being racially abused as he walked from work in Leeds city centre on 20 December 2017.
Azeem Rafiq is the creator of Yorkshire’s Centre for Community Engagement and Research at Bradford University. He was asked to give evidence yesterday before a DCMS select committee hearing into racism in sport. What did he learn?
“Azeem Rafiq: What we learned from DCMS select committee hearing into racism at Yorkshire” is a blog post by Azeem Rafiq. The article discusses the “Azeem Rafiq: What we learned from DCMS select committee hearing into racism at Yorkshire”.
Emotional Rafiq speaks to MPs about the prejudice he saw in Yorkshire.
On Tuesday, Rafiq, Azeem spoke before a group of MPs for slightly under two hours about his experiences with prejudice while playing for Yorkshire.
The former captain talked movingly about the racist remarks and deeds that brought him “near to ending his own life,” as he put it.
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee also examined former Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton and England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Tom Harrison.
The important topics from the hearing are examined by sport.
Rafiq initially came up about his racist experiences in September 2020. Yorkshire has since conducted an inquiry that has been strongly criticized.
Rafiq told MPs about the extent of his harassment and the lack of help he got throughout his playing and non-playing days.
The usage of the names “Steve” and “Kevin,” as well as a “toxic” dressing room
When Gary Ballance was chosen captain during Rafiq’s second tenure at the club, the Yorkshire dressing room became a “toxic” environment, according to Rafiq. Ballance had repeatedly abused him, including using discriminatory words regarding his Pakistani ancestry, which was observed by other players and coaches.
Former spinner Jack Brooks referred to India batter Cheteshwar Pujara as “Steve,” according to him. Pujara has said that he dislikes the name and would want to be known as Cheteshwar. external-link
Rafiq also addressed the word ‘Kevin,’ which Ballance used to derogatorily refer to persons of color. When Ballance and Nottinghamshire hitter Alex Hales were on national duty, he claimed the term was “an open secret” in the England dressing room. He went on to say that Hales named his dog Kevin “because it was black.”
Rafiq also expressed his disappointment with England captain Joe Root’s statement that he had not seen any racism. Ballance’s former roommate, Root, was a former roommate of Ballance’s. Root was characterized as a “nice guy” by Rafiq, who said that he was there on evenings out when racial slurs were made towards him.
Brooks and Hales have been approached by Sport for comment. Ballance earlier issued a statement in which he expressed his “deep remorse” for his behavior.
Tim Bresnan, Andrew Gale, and Matthew Hoggard’s views toward Rafiq at the club were also discussed. He said that after an interview, Hoggard phoned him to apologize for his behavior. Bresnan has now apologized in a statement. Gale has been contacted by Sport.
As a youngster, I was forced to consume alcohol.
Rafiq vividly remembered being pushed down and having red wine poured down his mouth as a 15-year-old while playing cricket for his local team. The player who assaulted him afterwards went on to play for Yorkshire and Hampshire.
Despite his youth, Rafiq stated he was “mad with himself” for allowing the situation to occur. Rafiq, a devout Muslim, subsequently drank to fit in at Yorkshire, although he was still bullied by others.
After the stillbirth of a son, he was subjected to “inhumane” treatment.
Rafiq sobbed as he told how Martyn Moxon, Yorkshire’s current director of cricket, “torn rips from me” when he returned to work following his son’s stillbirth in 2017. “They didn’t seem to mind that I was at training one day and got a phone call saying there was no heartbeat,” he said.
Rafiq went on to say that he had never seen Moxon talk to someone in that manner before and that he should apologize. Sport has reached out to Moxon, who is presently on sabbatical from the club due to a stress-related ailment.
‘High-profile’ critics attempted to delegitimize him.
Rafiq said his life has been “turned upside down” since he made his charges public. He claimed how “high-profile” commentators messaged supporters and sought to undermine him after appearing on national television.
Despite the fact that Lloyd “never spent any time with me,” he cited former England coach David Lloyd as one of those involved.
Michael Vaughan’s newspaper editorial, in which he claimed he had been mentioned in the report for making an alleged racist remark, was also criticized by Rafiq. “It’s critical that we don’t make Michael the center of attention,” Rafiq continued.
Lloyd issued a statement in which he expressed “great sorrow” for his behavior and apologized to Rafiq. Vaughan has issued two comments denying the claim “totally and emphatically.”
PCA and ECB’s ‘lack of support’
The Professional Cricketers’ Association’s response to the probe, according to Rafiq, was “extremely inadequate.” The PCA is the male and female players’ representing organisation in England and Wales.
The PCA’s response was, “Oh, we’ve got members on both sides,” Rafiq stated. “So you’re defending the criminals while having no interest in where this is leading me?”
“The PCA kept promising me that once the report was out, they will back me up. Once it did, they claimed that they had no authority and that all they could do was push the ECB “he said
“Important lessons need to be learned in the way these problems are handled,” the PCA argues.
“We are listening to our Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group, which was created in July 2020,” stated CEO Rob Lynch.
“Anti-racism teaching has been continuing throughout 2021 as a result of their comments, and is part of our commitment to eradicate racism and prejudice in the professional game.”
“In addition, the PCA has established a panel of independent barristers who may be contacted in confidentially by members who are experiencing racism or prejudice.”
‘Racism cost me my job,’ she says.
Rafiq said that as a dad, he could not see allowing his children to play cricket after what he had witnessed.
He went on to say that he feels racism cost him his job, but that he wants to be a “voice for the voiceless” so that others don’t have to go through what he did.
“I’ve tried to keep away from talking about cricket throughout this process,” he continued, “but I believe that with the numbers and things surrounding 2017, I had the opportunity to go straight to the top.”
“These incidents weighed heavily on my mind.
“I want to assist young players, as well as countries, in changing their surroundings and achieving their goals. I was unable to realize my ambitions.”
Tom Harrison and Roger Hutton
Former Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton, who stepped down in the wake of widespread criticism of the county’s handling of the allegations, and his successor, Lord Patel, also testified before the panel.
Hutton was told to stop looking into the case.
Hutton said he was met with a lot of opposition at Yorkshire, including a refusal to recognise that Rafiq was a victim or to make the reforms that the study advised.
He said he was urged to “abandon the process and probe” by chief executive Mark Arthur, who has since resigned down. “I suggested Azeem Rafiq would be part of the process of healing and reconciliation and was informed he would not be welcome,” he added, adding that Arthur refused to apologize.
Arthur was supposed to appear in the DCMS select committee, but he didn’t show up. Yorkshire has been contacted for further information.
Yorkshire ‘fits the description of institutional racism,’ according to the report.
Hutton claimed he wanted Arthur and Martyn Moxon, the director of cricket, as well as the head of human resources, fired.
When challenged, Hutton said he “feared” Yorkshire “fits that criteria” of being institutionally racist. There was insufficient evidence to substantiate Rafiq’s assertions, according to the study.
“I have to say that there has been a significant amount of thoughtlessness and stupidity in the last several months, as well as a reluctance to apologize and implement the advice,” he continued.
Yorkshire made it plain that they wished to conduct an inquiry.
Yorkshire had requested the ECB to lead the probe into Rafiq’s accusations, according to Hutton, but had not been granted any assistance.
The regulatory department, on the other hand, was merely invited to be a “partner” in the inquiry and to participate on the panel that reviewed the investigators’ findings, according to Harrison. Yorkshire was turned down by the ECB because, as a regulator, it needed to be allowed to monitor rather than participate in the probe.
“Yorkshire were adamant that they wanted to handle this inquiry themselves,” Harrison said.
Azeem Rafiq was a British Pakistani who had been targeted by racial abuse on social media. He spoke at the DCMS select committee hearing into racism in the UK and what happened to him afterward. Reference: what happened to azeem rafiq.
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