Yorkshire’s disgraceful treatment of Azeem Rafiq was made possible by the racist reality of modern Britain.
The men Rafiq describes as being abused were not born in a changing room; their worldviews were developed outside of cricket.
Acceptance and remorse.
Azeem Rafiq only had one request, one wish: to be heard, to be taken seriously, to have his complaint acknowledged, and to be treated with respect.
None of this materialized.
He didn’t fit into Yorkshire’s frame of reference because he was a person of color.
He deserved neither to be heard nor to be respected.
He lacked the respect accorded to the white majority.
This is Rafiq’s painful reality.
Rafiq attributed the bullying and racist culture he encountered to the Yorkshire dressing room, claiming that the sporting environment somehow promoted and encouraged vile discrimination by white cricketers abusing their ethnic privilege.
The truth is that society’s bullying of the “other” gives dressing rooms carte blanche to act as they do.
The atrocious conduct of a sham inquiry, which appears to have covered up and protected the authority that commissioned it by failing to take evidence from named witnesses who could have corroborated the claims under investigation, is proof that this is not merely a sporting problem.
This was an egregious example of bias from a panel that failed to meet the most basic requirement of correctly spelling terms.
This was supposed to get to the bottom of serious allegations, but it turned into a mechanism for reinforcing white bias and justifying the actions and attitudes of an old boys’ network from England’s imperial past.
Rafiq showed himself to be a decent, reasonable, and sensitive human being throughout his harrowing, often tearful testimony, detailing ritual abuses such as having red wine forcibly poured down his throat as a 15-year-old and receiving a torrid dressing down by cricket director Martyn Moxon the day after losing his stillborn son.
He was articulate, balanced, and, above all, courageous, the kind of person who embodies the best in us, the kind of citizen who a just society should be built around.
Nonetheless, he was exposing a systemic racism problem that continues to plague our communities.
The men he describes were not born in a changing room, but their worldviews were.
News summary from Infosurhoy in the United Kingdom.
Yorkshire’s shameful treatment of Azeem Rafiq was made possible by the racist reality of modern Britain.
The racist reality of modern Britain created the conditions for Yorkshire’s shameful treatment of Azeem Rafiq