Sports

Yorkshire racism claims to be investigated by Equality and Human Rights Commission to see if laws were broken

Azeem Rafiq, a former Yorkshire player, was found to have been the victim of “racial harassment and bullying” at the county but no disciplinary action was taken; Equality and Human Rights Commission asks for full copy of report into Rafiq’s claims

Last Updated: 06/11/21 7:29pm

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has said it is “deeply concerned about the incidents of racism” at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and will look at whether any laws have been broken.

The commission has written to the club “to ask for more information, including a full copy of their investigation report, to determine if there has been a breach of the law”, chief executive Marcial Boo said.

Yorkshire and the wider sport are mired in allegations of racism and how such complaints are handled.

Michael Holding says he thinks the ECB should have handed Yorkshire a more severe punishment for their handling of the allegations made by Azeem Rafiq

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Michael Holding says he thinks the ECB should have handed Yorkshire a more severe punishment for their handling of the allegations made by Azeem Rafiq

Michael Holding says he thinks the ECB should have handed Yorkshire a more severe punishment for their handling of the allegations made by Azeem Rafiq

Azeem Rafiq, a former Yorkshire spin-bowler, was found to have been a victim of “racial harassment and bullying” while playing for the team – but the club decided no player, employee or executive should face action.

A report by the team included an admission by one senior player that he used the word “P***” in relation to Rafiq, which on at least one occasion reduced the player to tears.

Yorkshire had concluded that the incidents amounted to “friendly banter” and had said it “does not accept” that Rafiq was offended by the comments.

On Thursday, the England and Wales Cricket Board suspended the club from hosting international or major matches after the “wholly unacceptable” handling of racial harassment claims.

Eoin Morgan, the England limited-overs captain, has backed the ECB's intervention into Azeem Rafiq's allegations of racism against Yorkshire

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Eoin Morgan, the England limited-overs captain, has backed the ECB’s intervention into Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of racism against Yorkshire

Eoin Morgan, the England limited-overs captain, has backed the ECB’s intervention into Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of racism against Yorkshire

It comes as Yorkshire said they are investigating separate racism allegations made by an Asian cricketer who was a former academy player for the county.

The player, who wishes to remain anonymous, claims a Yorkshire team-mate urinated on his head and also alleges he heard senior players talking about desecrating a Muslim prayer mat.

The allegations were made in a lengthy statement.

A Yorkshire statement in response read: “This kind of behaviour would be completely unacceptable to the club. Now we are aware of it, it goes without saying that we will investigate the allegation thoroughly.”

George Dobell, ESPNcricinfo's senior correspondent, believes Yorkshire have failed to accept the issue of racism at the club following allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq

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George Dobell, ESPNcricinfo’s senior correspondent, believes Yorkshire have failed to accept the issue of racism at the club following allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq

George Dobell, ESPNcricinfo’s senior correspondent, believes Yorkshire have failed to accept the issue of racism at the club following allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq

Roger Hutton resigned as Yorkshire chair over the organisation’s response to the Rafiq racism scandal.

Mr Boo said in his statement: “As Britain’s equality regulator, we are deeply concerned about the incidents of racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.

“We have written to YCCC to ask for more information, including a full copy of their investigation report, to determine if there has been a breach of the law. We will take action if so.”

Mr Boo said “all employers have a duty to protect their employees from bullying and harassment”, adding that the commission met the ECB in April to discuss how this can be achieved in the sport.




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