A couple of weeks ago, Azeem Rafiq alleged the racial treatment that he was subjected to while playing for Yorkshire. The report contained many names and a few high-profile too. One of them wa Michael Vaughan. As a result, BBC removed Michael Vaughan from their show the tuffers and vaughan cricket show which they were hosting for 12 years.
During a Parliamentary hearing on 16t November, Rafiq named several players and revealed the codename which intended derogatory meaning. It is interesting to note that Yorkshire County Cricket club too conducted its own investigation. The investigation did find that Rafiq was the victim of racial abuse however, Yorkshire stated that they would not be taking any disciplinary action against the players who were found involved in the incident. Let’s begin by naming the players who Rafeez named in his Parliamentary meeting
Ballance was alleged by Rafiq to have used a racial slur. In fact, the former England batter admitted using the ‘racial slur’ but believes that the language was part of a long and deep friendship. Rafiq however dismissed the explanation given by Ballance and said that the depiction of their friendship as per Ballance was not true. Rafiq commented that the friendship went downhill from 2013 and became toxic from 2017 onwards.
Rafis also revealed startling statements “Why are you talking to him, he’s not a Sheikh, he hasn’t got oil”. Going past a corner shop, I was asked if my uncle owned it.
On being called as ‘Kevin’
Upon being asked in the Parliament about the word ‘Kevin’, Rafiq told that the word was intended derogatory manner, a racist term that reached the very top of the game. According to Azeem, ‘Kevin’ meant anyone of color in a derogatory manner and that word and its meaning were an open secret in the England Dressing room.
Calling Cheteshwar Pujara as Steve
Rafiq claimed that India’s Cheteshwar Pujara was called as ‘Steve’. In Dec 2020, there was news of Shane Warne calling Pujara as ‘Steve’ as the name and surname was difficult to pronounce. It is worth to note that even Pujara preferred to be called by his name and not by his nickname.
On Joe Root
Rafiq believes that the England cricket captain is a good man and that he never engaged in racist language. Joe Root while called for a lasting change but could not recall the incidents of racism where Azeem Rafiq was the victim. According to Rafiq, Root was Ballance’s housemate and had been a part of a social group where Rafiq was called as ‘P****’
“I found it hurtful because Rooty was Gary (Ballance)’s housemate and had been involved in a lot of the socializing where I was called a ‘p***’.
“It shows how normal it was that even a good man like him doesn’t see it for what it was. It’s not going to affect Joe, but it’s something I remember every day.”
Michael Vaughan : – Also named in the Yorkshire’s club independent report, Vaughan has refuted all the allegations made against him by Azeem Rafiq. However, earlier on Rana Naved – ul -Hasan and later on Adil Rashid confirmed the allegations made by Rafiq.
Rafiq told the MPs : – “Michael might not remember it… three of us, Adil, myself, and Rana remember it. He probably doesn’t remember it because it doesn’t mean anything to him”
On Alex Hales
According to Rafiq, Hales and Ballance became the closest of friends when they played together for England. He cited that Alex Hales went on to name his dog ‘Kevin’ as the dog was black in color. “It’s disgusting how much of a joke it was.”
Rafiq also called David Lloyd, who has been with Skysports as “closet racist”. According To Rafiq, Lloyd tried to undermine his allegations by saying things like “The clubhouses are the life blood of a club and Asian players don’t go in there’ (and) ‘Getting subs out of Asian players is like getting blood out of stone.” Llyod had confirmed that he has apologized to Rafiq after the hearing and told the Telegraph that “The comments that I made were totally wrong and ill-founded. In my opinion, you can always correct a wrong and the first thing I did was to ring the lad”