REVEALED: One current Yorkshire cricketer reduced team-mate Azeem Rafiq to tears by calling him a P**i and asking him if his dad owned corner shops – but a club investigation ruled it was just friendly BANTER
- Yorkshire’s investigation into allegations of historic racist abuse by Azeem Rafiq concluded last week with nobody being disciplined
- Now, it emerges at a senior player at the club would regularly called Rafiq ‘P**i’
- The player would tell others not to speak to Rafiq because ‘he’s a P**i’
- The panel in Yorkshire’s investigation ruled that the remarks were made in the ‘spirit of friendly banter
An unnamed Yorkshire cricketer who is a senior player at the club admitted regularly calling Azeem Rafiq ‘P**i’ but was cleared of wrongdoing on the basis it was ‘good natured banter between friends’.
That’s according to ESPN cricinfo, after Yorkshire last week insisted no disciplinary action was needed against employees after carrying out an investigation into Rafiq’s allegations of historic racism.
The publication claims that the player recalled Rafiq breaking down in tears at the remarks, yet they reportedly told the investigation they didn’t realise they were causing offence and would have stopped if Rafiq asked.
Azeem Rafiq was reportedly frequently called ‘P**i’ by a senior player at Yorkshire
The report into institutional racism at Yorkshire ruled that the remarks were ‘friendly banter’
The player also allegedly told the investigating team that he said to other people: ‘Don’t talk to him [Rafiq], he’s a P**i”‘ and would ask “is that your uncle?” when they saw bearded Asian men, as well as saying “does your dad own those?” in reference to corner shops.
An investigating team, who were tasked with finding evidence to pass on to a panel that would then make conclusions and recommendations, ruled that such remarks were ‘capable of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment’.
But the panel disagreed. They said in the report: ‘The Panel does not accept that Azeem was offended by [the other player’s] comments, either at the time they were made or subsequently.’
ESPN add that the panel’s conclusion labelled the remarks as ‘banter between friends’ and that Rafiq could have been ‘expected to take such comments in the spirit in which they were intended… [so] it was not reasonable for Azeem to have been offended by [the other player] directing equally offensive or derogatory comments back at him in the same spirit of friendly banter.’
ESPN say one person on that panel was also a non-executive member of Yorkshire’s board.
The investigation has not been published, with Yorkshire saying legal reasons prevent them from doing so but the England and Wales Cricket Board said last Thursday that they had received a copy.
Yorkshire have now sent the ECB a full copy of the report after twice missing deadlines to do so
After last week’s report was published, Rafiq said: ‘Sometimes you just want to scream’
The ECB have said that they will carry out their own investigation into Rafiq’s allegations.
Last week, when Yorkshire announced their findings, Rafiq responded on Twitter by saying: ‘Sometimes you just want to scream!!!!’
Of the decision not to open disciplinary proceedings against any employees, players or executives, a spokesperson for the 30-year-old said: ‘This is despite Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s admission that Azeem was the victim of racial harassment and bullying. This is despite Yorkshire County Cricket Club’s admission that it failed to follow its own policy and investigate allegations of racism as recently as 2018.
‘It is inconceivable that there are no current employees who should not have been disciplined for their conduct. Yorkshire’s failures continue to mount up and it is time that board members — for once — do the decent thing and resign.’
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