Yorkshire are 'protecting players and a coach' over racism claims

Yorkshire are ‘protecting players and a coach’ by not releasing full details of racism investigation, insists Azeem Rafiq, as he vows to dedicate his life to the fight against racial prejudice

  • Azeem Rafiq claims he was the victim of racist abuse from team-mates and coaches while playing for Yorkshire
  • Yorkshire conducted an internal investigation but have not released full details
  • They accept Rafiq was the victim of ‘racial harassment’ and ‘bullying’ and upheld seven of the player’s claims dating back to 2008
  • Rafiq calls on the full report to be released and vows to continue fighting racism 

Azeem Rafiq has said he is prepared to dedicate his life to the fight against racism after accusing Yorkshire of protecting the identity of his alleged abusers during his time at the club.

A statement released by his spokesperson criticised the county for publishing ‘its own interpretation’ of an investigation into his allegations on the day the fifth Test at Old Trafford between England and India was cancelled, and complained that Rafiq and his team were yet to see the report’s full, unredacted version.

That day, September 10, Yorkshire admitted he had been ‘the victim of racial harassment’ and ‘bullying’, and offered ‘profound and unreserved apologies’.

But Rafiq, whose allegations – seven of which were upheld by the report – date back to his first summer at the club in 2008, remains furious that Yorkshire concluded there was insufficient evidence for the club to be labelled ‘institutionally racist’.

Rafiq told Sportsmail: ‘In this country, when does anyone accept their employee has the been the victim of racial harassment and bullying? Hardly ever. So just imagine how bad that report must be in its entirety for them to have been left with no option.’

Azeem Rafiq played for Yorkshire from 2008 to 2014 and again from 2016 to 2018

His spokesperson’s statement added: ‘Yorkshire is protecting the players and a coach who they now acknowledge used either racist language or were bullying. The club is intent on not naming them, yet has stated publicly that Azeem is wrong on some allegations without explaining why or on what basis.

‘The investigation has lacked transparency and due process… The summary was provided, in effect, by the ‘defendant’ – Yorkshire. Azeem has not been allowed to see the report, comment or respond.’

The statement, put together by strategic communications company Powerscourt, posed a series of questions they believe Yorkshire must answer. They include asking why chief executive Mark Arthur and director of cricket Martyn Moxon are still employed by the club after presiding over its failure to investigate concerns of racism raised by Rafiq in 2018.

It added: ‘Any summary that comes from Yorkshire cannot be considered fair and balanced when many of those who have seen the report and determined Yorkshire’s response are themselves subject of allegations.’

Rafiq said: ‘An ex-Yorkshire player said to me, if you’d set out at the start to handle this badly, you couldn’t have handled it as badly as Yorkshire have.

‘It’s incredibly exhausting on a lot of levels. But I’m going to go down this path. I’m starting to come to an acceptance that this is my life, and I’m ready to give my life for it.’

Yorkshire have been contacted for a response.

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