Joe Root a 'good man' but his comments on not seeing racism at Yorkshire were 'hurtful': Azeem Rafiq
Azeem Rafiq on Tuesday in the parliamentary select committee hearing called Joe Root "a good man" but expressed his disappointment at the England Test skipper.
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Azeem Rafiq on Tuesday in the parliamentary select committee hearing called Joe Root "a good man" but expressed his disappointment at the England Test skipper. MPs heard from former cricketer Azeem Rafiq in the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS) hearing, about his calls for disciplinary action to be taken by Yorkshire County Cricket Club following its investigation which found he had been subjected to racial harassment and bullying.
Notably, last week England Test captain Joe Root told reporters he had never personally heard any racism at the club but added the Yorkshire racism scandal has "fractured our game and torn lives apart". When asked about Root's comments, Rafiq told the committee: "Root is a good man. He never engaged in racist language. I found it [his comments] hurtful. He might not remember it, but it just shows how normal it was in that environment, that a good man like him can't remember it. It was the norm, it's not going to affect Joe, but it's something I remember every day."
Rafiq fought back tears when he told MPs the word 'P***' was "used constantly" across his two spells at Yorkshire and no one in leadership challenged it. He told the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee: "Pretty early on at the club, I joined a dressing room full of my heroes, Michael Vaughan, Matthew Hoggard, part of the 2005 Ashes team. And it was just the most surreal moment for me."
"Pretty early on, me and other people from an Asian background... there were comments such as, 'you'll sit over there near the toilets', 'elephant washers'. The word P*** was used constantly. And there just seemed to be an acceptance in the institution from the leaders and no one ever stamped it out," he added. Earlier, Rafiq had claimed that Michael Vaughan in 2009 told him and two other Asian players that there are "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".
Asked about Vaughan, Rafiq said: "It's important on Michael that we don't make it all about Michael. "It was a long time ago. He might not remember it because it doesn't mean anything to him." Vaughan, however, had denied the allegations. (ANI)
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