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Racism is Not Banter

03 11 21

Just over a year ago, former White Rose player Azeem Rafiq first made allegations of institutional racism at the club. The subsequent investigation by the Yorkshire CCC found that p word was just “good natured banter”. This is not true.

While the report found that it was “not reasonable for Azeem to have been offended”, it did find that Rafiq had been a victim of “racial harassment and bullying”. An apology was issued by the club, however, they were “pleased” to announce that no further disciplinary action would be taken. A refusal to act on tackling racism should not be a cause to rejoice. Azeem Rafiq deserves justice.

Azeem spoke out in support of our camapign against racism in cricket, commenting “I am proud to support this campaign by HOPE not hate. When investigating racism, the process needs transparency, not only so people know what happened, but so we can learn from it. I join their call to the Yorkshire CCC to release the investigation’s findings in full”

Referring to someone by a racial slur is not, under any circumstances, ‘good natured banter’. In 2021, we have a right to expect racism and intolerance to be taken seriously. We cannot sit idly by while institutions try to brush these problems under the carpet – we all have a part to play in refusing to accept racial intolerance and taking a stand against organisations who fail to tackle racism.

Cricket, like any sport, unites people across many backgrounds – but when institutions fail to safeguard and protect players from abuse, the premise of unity falls apart.

‘Casual’ racism is racism. If you agree, add your name and demand that the report findings be released in full.

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