Dear Yorkshire County Cricket Club board,
We, like so many others, have been shocked and appalled at the treatment of Azeem Rafiq during his time as a member of your cricket club. The lack of transparency and action on such serious allegations of racism sets a dangerous precedent for other players from minoritised communities that may also want to come forward when they experience racism.
This issue does not stop with one person nor with Yorkshire County Cricket Club. It is a systemic issue in which people from minoritised communities are not being taken seriously.
Racism is well and alive in this country, and the fact that a report can conclude that calling a man a p*ki is just “good natured banter” is completely unacceptable. To then claim that Azeem has “no right to be offended” is abhorrent.
It is becoming clear that this case is bigger than Azeem, with more charges of racism and mismanagement being thrown at Yorkshire CCC and its players. Some personnel changes to the board won’t solve the issue, only a root and branch change to the culture will be sufficient to tackle racism across the clubs’ structures. What is needed now is leadership from Yorkshire and a commitment to tackle the culture of racism at the club.
We have launched a campaign calling on you to publish the report into Azeem’s case in full, with immediate effect. In just over 48 hours, over 3,000 people have signed our petition demanding justice for Azeem Rafiq. We have attracted the support of politicians across the country. We now demand to be heard. We need the full facts so that people can learn from this case and work on making cricket a more inclusive and welcoming space.
Nick Lowles and our HOPE not hate supporters
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