Alleged Racism at Yorkshire CKC Likely Illegal, Watchdog Says | Yorkshire

The UK equality watchdog said the racism allegedly taking place at Yorkshire County Cricket Club was likely illegal and threatened legal action if appropriate action was not taken by the club to tackle discrimination.

The club have been widely condemned after its former player Azeem Rafiq claimed he was institutionally racist, detailing years of “inhuman” treatment and abuse he suffered during his two stays there, including including players of Pakistani descent called the P word.

On Tuesday Marcial Boo, Managing Director of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC), said: “The stories of racism and discrimination at Yorkshire County Cricket Club were heartbreaking and deeply concerning. The aim of sport is to bring together people from all walks of life. Racism has no place in any sport, business or society.

“We have now reviewed the documentation and consider it likely that an illegal act has taken place.”

Boo said the committee is confident that the club’s new leadership is taking appropriate action to deal with past failures.

Roger Hutton resigned as club president in early November and Mark Arthur resigned as general manager a week later after public outrage over the treatment of their former player and the handling of the investigation into Rafiq’s allegations.

Earlier this month the entire club’s coaching staff left, with new chairman Kamlesh Patel saying it was “in the best interests of the club”.

The EHRC also welcomed the agreement of a 12-point action plan between Yorkshire and the England and Wales Cricket Board, which itself was criticized for its inaction after Rafiq first denounced the last year and for not acting against racism in gambling more generally. . However, the regulator has warned the club could end up in court if it does not properly implement the plan.

“We will… be monitoring the club’s action plan closely and we reserve the right to take legal action if the action plan is not implemented properly,” Boo said.

“We aim to work with the England and Wales Cricket Board and regulators of other sports to ensure that all who participate, whether for fun, fitness or as professionals, are not discriminated against. and harassment. “

In devastating testimony last month before the digital, culture, media and sport select committee, Rafiq told MPs he had faced repeated racist comments from senior players during two stays in the Yorkshire between 2008 and 2018 and that the club had done nothing to stop him. He said racism had crept into the English dressing room as well. Rafiq said he had felt suicidal and his experiences meant he didn’t want his son to “come close to cricket”.

The Pakistani-born player also recounted how, when he was 15 at Barnsley Cricket Club, he got wine poured down his throat despite it going against his Muslim faith.

On the same day, the equality watchdog announced its response to Yorkshire’s action plan, the club announced they had entered into a partnership with a Pakistani Super League team, the Lahore Qalandars, which would include opportunities for players at all levels of each club to gain experience. and time to play with each other.

Patel said this “would be an exciting step towards a Yorkshire County Cricket Club that welcomes and supports all”.

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