Leeds United lost their chairman and board members resigned following the case of Azeem Rafiq. The club responded by saying that they are “disappointed” with the decision, but maintain ownership remains unchanged.
This is a summary of the Azeem Rafiq case. The accused, an 18-year old Muslim teenager, was charged with assaulting and racially abusing members of staff at his Leeds school. The alleged victim claims that he owed Mr Rafique £3 in unpaid fines for playing video games on “unauthorised” devices without paying the required fees to do so after having been suspended from school because of bad behaviour. After being found guilty by magistrates, Mr Rafique’s mother insisted her son would not be back before Christmas as she said they were hoping to appeal against sentence and if necessary seek legal aid.,
The “Azeem Rafiq racism case” is a story about the resignation of Chairman Roger Hutton and board members at Wolverhampton Wanderers. The decision was made after Azeem Rafiq, a player for the club, was racially abused by opposing fans.
Azeem Rafiq, a former England junior captain, led Yorkshire in a Twenty20 match in 2012.
Two more members of the Yorkshire board of directors have followed chairman Roger Hutton in quitting over the club’s reaction to Azeem Rafiq’s bigotry.
When Hutton resigned on Friday, he “unconditionally apologized” to Rafiq, 30.
Following an emergency meeting later that day, Hanif Malik and Stephen Willis resigned from the board.
Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford has been named as the club’s chairman and director.
Neil Hartley, a fourth board member, will resign in the near future after “ensuring a seamless transition to new leadership.”
Lord Patel said, “The club must learn from its previous mistakes, reestablish trust, and rebuild partnerships with our communities.”
“Yorkshire is fortunate to have a large talent pool of cricketers and passionate fans from all of our communities, and we must re-engage with all of them to make Yorkshire County Cricket Club a better place for everyone.”
On Friday, Hutton issued a long statement in which he admitted that the club “should have recognized the significant claims of racism” presented by Rafiq at the time.
He went on to say that he had “experienced a culture that refuses to tolerate change or challenge” while at Yorkshire.
Hutton further slammed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), alleging the governing body “refused to assist.”
Rafiq was the subject of “racial abuse and bullying,” according to an inquiry, but the club declared no disciplinary action will be taken.
Yorkshire was banned from hosting England matches by the ECB on Thursday.
Yorkshire’s handling of the situation is “wholly unacceptable” and “creating substantial harm to the game’s image,” according to the ECB.
When Hutton learned of Rafiq’s claims, he “immediately sought out” to the ECB “to beg for their cooperation and involvement to facilitate a rigorous probe,” but there was a “reluctance to act,” according to Hutton.
Yorkshire approached the ECB at the commencement of the probe, but the ECB responded by saying, “Our responsibility is to function as a regulator throughout the whole game.” Should we ever be obliged to interfere as a regulator – either during or after a club inquiry – we must act independently of any club investigations.
“The way these problems have played out at Yorkshire County Cricket Club properly demonstrates why our governance is constituted in this manner.”
‘A constant refusal to admit that racism existed’
“I would want to use this opportunity to apologise unreservedly to Azeem,” Hutton said in a statement.
“I apologize that we were unable to convince the board’s executive members to see the severity of the issue and to demonstrate care and repentance.”
“The executive members of the board of directors and top management of the club have consistently refused to apologise, recognize [there was] racism, and go ahead.”
“I accept responsibility for failing to encourage them to take adequate and timely action during my tenure as chairman.”
“This dissatisfaction has been shared by all of the board’s non-executive members, some of whom have since quit as well.”
“I was upset when they refused to assist because I believed it was an issue of significant significance for the game as a whole,” Hutton said of the ECB, who will be questioned by MPs alongside top Yorkshire officials and Rafiq on November 16th.
“I have often conveyed my dissatisfaction with the ECB’s unwillingness to act,” he said.
Hutton, a longstanding Yorkshire supporter and local lawyer, started in April 2020 and says he “never saw Azeem and was not at the club throughout his employment.”
Julian Knight MP, the head of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee, said he hoped the ECB fines would “serve as a brief, sharp shock to bring the club to its senses” in a statement on Thursday.
“I believe the members of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, like the rest of us, will be wondering why the board is still in existence,” he continued.
Yorkshire Tea, as well as kit maker Nike and principal sponsor Emerald Publishing, have severed their links with the county. NIC Services Group, the club’s front-sponsor, said on Friday that it was ending its affiliation with Yorkshire with immediate effect.
Eoin Morgan, England’s limited-overs captain, thinks the concerns revealed by the study and Yorkshire’s reaction to it must be addressed. Morgan is leading England at the Men’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.
“We want to view the sport in a positive light, but if there’s a significant problem like this, we want it addressed,” Morgan added.
“We genuinely believe that prejudice has no place in our sport, and I believe the ECB board’s measures against Yorkshire have shown how serious they are about handling cricket problems like this.”
Meanwhile, Michael Vaughan, a former England captain, claims he was identified in Yorkshire’s report but “absolutely disputes any charge of racism.”
According to the article, Vaughan addressed a group of Asian teammates, including Rafiq, in 2009, while still a Yorkshire player, “Too many of you lot, we need to do something about it.”
Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, an ex-Pakistan bowler, told ESPN that he heard the alleged remark as well.
Vaughan, a conservative commentator, claims he “totally and definitely denies” stating such.
Gary Ballance, an ex-England international, claimed on Wednesday that he “regrets” using racist comments against Rafiq during their time as Yorkshire teammates.
Timeline for the Rafiq report
2 September 2020: After an initial interview with Wisdenexternal-link, ESPN Cricinfo publishes an article with Rafiqexternal-link in which he alleges “institutional racism” at Yorkshire County Cricket Club drove him to consider suicide.
September 3rd, 2020: Yorkshire have begun a “formal inquiry” into Rafiq’s charges, and chairman Roger Hutton has said that the club would conduct a “wider assessment” of its “rules and culture.”
Yorkshire asks an independent legal firm to look into Rafiq’s charges of racism against the club on September 5, 2020.
November 13th, 2020: After presenting his initial account before the committee, Rafiq says he expects to bring about “real change.”
Rafiq files a court lawsuit against Yorkshire on December 15, 2020, alleging “direct discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, as well as victimization and damage as a consequence of attempting to confront racism within the club.”
After ESPN Cricinfo revealed texts addressed to Rafiq’s law company, Yorkshire threatened a lifelong ban for anybody found to have made threats against him, his family, or his legal team on February 2, 2021.
Rafiq’s employment tribunal dispute with his previous club Yorkshire fails to reach a conclusion on June 17, 2021. His racist claims are still being investigated by an impartial body.
Yorkshire receives the results of an independent inquiry following the racism claims on August 16, 2021, and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) requests a copy two days later.
19 August 2021: Yorkshire, which has yet to share the report’s conclusions, acknowledges Rafiq was “the victim of improper behavior” and expresses their “deep regrets.”
Yorkshire, Rafiq claims, is downplaying racism by referring to him as a victim of “inappropriate behavior.”
MPs order Yorkshire to publish the report’s conclusions “quickly” on September 8, 2021.
Yorkshire releases the report’s conclusions on September 10, 2021, stating that Rafiq was a “victim of racial abuse and bullying,” with an independent tribunal upholding seven of the 43 complaints made by the player.
The assessment said that there was “insufficient evidence to demonstrate that Yorkshire County Cricket Club is institutionally racist,” according to Hutton.
Yorkshire issued a summary of the panel’s conclusions and recommendations, but stated the complete report could not be disclosed due to “privacy legislation and defamation concerns.”
Yorkshire fail a deadline to provide the complete report to Rafiq and his legal team on October 8, 2021, after an employment court ordered the club to do so by Friday, October 8.
13 October 2021: Rafiq then gets a substantially edited version, while the ECB claims it is still awaiting the entire report.
Yorkshire says it conducted its own internal investigation following the report’s findings and concluded that “no conduct or action taken by any of its employees, players, or executives warrants disciplinary action.” 28 October 2021: Yorkshire says it conducted its own internal investigation following the report’s findings and concluded that “no conduct or action taken by any of its employees, players, or executives warrants disciplinary action.”
The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee requests that Hutton come before it on November 2, 2021, to answer questions concerning Yorkshire’s handling of a probe into Rafiq’s racism claims.
Following the release of a leaked report allegedly including details of the inquiry into Rafiq’s treatment, MP Knight, head of the DCMS select committee, has called on the board of Yorkshire County Cricket Club to resign.
According to ESPN, the study decided that a racially derogatory phrase used against Rafiq was considered “banter.”
Knight makes his remarks after Health Secretary Sajid Javid calls for “heads to roll” in Yorkshire and says the ECB is “unfit for purpose” if it does not intervene. In a Twitter tweet, he further claims that the phrase used to characterize Rafiq was “not banter.”
The European Central Bank (ECB) has said that it would launch a “full” examination into the incident.
3 November 2021: The DCMS hearing is set for November 16th, and Rafiq, along with top Yorkshire officials, will be invited to testify in person.
Several sponsors have ended their affiliations with Yorkshire County Cricket Club, including principal sponsor Emerald Publishing and Yorkshire Tea.
Gary Ballance, the current Yorkshire batter, has issued a long statement apologizing for using a racist slur towards former teammate Rafiq.
Yorkshire is barred from hosting international matches by the ECB from November 4, 2021.
Nike’s four-year contract, which began in March 2021, is coming to an end.
Michael Vaughan, a former England captain, claims he was identified in the study but “absolutely rejects any charge of racism.”
Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton resigns over the club’s attitude and apologizes “unreservedly” to Rafiq on November 5, 2021. Two more board members resigned, and a fourth is expected to resign soon. Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford has been named as the club’s chairman and director.
Former Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hasan claims he overheard Vaughan make an alleged discriminatory remark to a group of Asian players.
- lionel blair