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Post Info TOPIC: Yorkshire Cricket Racism Scandal


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Yorkshire Cricket Racism Scandal


Watching Azeem Rafiq and his evidence to the MP's today - what a fine, articulate and creditable man, I felt emotionally moved listening to him talk and give his testimony.

I hope this causes real action to be taken - I imagine it will start with a number of careers being damaged (Vaughan, David Lloyd, Martyn Moxon all mentioned again) and rightly so. But more importantly is that people stand up and change things.

Which made me wonder, what is the experience folks have in tennis - at club, county or national levels - in terms of racial attitudes and representation? At the tournament level, we seem to have more people from a variety of racial backgrounds coming through, but is it really as good as that and how are folks treated at the various levels of the game in terms of racial attitudes?



-- Edited by JonH comes home on Tuesday 16th of November 2021 11:31:50 AM

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It is great that the flippant ( to many ) institutional racism that has pervaded so much of society for so long is at least being stood up against in current times. No doubt a long long way to go but the more a sense of what just isn't right or isn't acceptable 'banter' spreads the better.

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Ballance should be sacked. Yorkshire may well go bust. No board, no sponsors, no test match.

There were issues in tennis. Not any more - if you saw the tennis players at the juniors, it is so ethnically diverse now despite it being portrayed as a rich private school sport.

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paulisi wrote:

Ballance should be sacked. Yorkshire may well go bust. No board, no sponsors, no test match.

There were issues in tennis. Not any more - if you saw the tennis players at the juniors, it is so ethnically diverse now despite it being portrayed as a rich private school sport.


There are ethnically diverse players at rich private schools - one does not preclude the other



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There is "banter" and bullying in all sports at all levels (and in life in general); the topic of the "banter" and bullying is whatever comes to hand: skin colour, gender, size of ears, freckles, hair colour, accent, weight, speech patterns, religion, birthplace, upbringing, ...

Picking on each in turn is laudable, and could - and possibly should - continue until all non-factual discussion is banned; but even then there will still be subjects that can be used to reinforce superiority of one human - or group of humans - over one another.

Every time I read a story about racism, I find that I can substitute any other group adjective and the bullying/ discrimination/ "-ism" still applies. Although, ironically, "anti-rich-white-male-ism" is apparently universally praised.

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The fact that one can substitute another 'ism' doesn't make the racism any better.

I don't see anything 'laudable'.

And there is, in my mind, a difference between 'banter' at a pub, say, where you can walk away, where it's a different group of private individuals, and 'banter' (aka racism, sexism, just downright rudeness to ginger people, or whatever) in the workplace, as here, where the person basically has to live with it because when they report it, nothing is done.

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Coup Droit wrote:

The fact that one can substitute another 'ism' doesn't make the racism any better.

I don't see anything 'laudable'.

And there is, in my mind, a difference between 'banter' at a pub, say, where you can walk away, where it's a different group of private individuals, and 'banter' (aka racism, sexism, just downright rudeness to ginger people, or whatever) in the workplace, as here, where the person basically has to live with it because when they report it, nothing is done.


And where it overtly impacts their career, by being prejudiced against them or by standing up and creating waves...In Yorkshire, where I live, the number of players in the British Asian community, whether it be Bradford, Sheffield, Leeds, anywhere is vast and the number who make it to county level is a disgrace. I am surprised more hasnt been discussed before as it clearly is institutional in its nature.



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Coup Droit wrote:

I don't see anything 'laudable'.


A possible misunderstanding: when I said "Picking on each in turn is laudable" I meant exposing and attempting to remove each in turn, which I believe is laudable.

And try as I might I cannot see any circumstance in which "banter" is acceptable, as the "bantee" is always being bullied/ disadvantaged, even if it is in the name of "humour".

... but, I cannot see removal of banter/ discrimination from daily discourse until we stop being human.



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Crisket is a particularly apposite example, as "sledging" has been a part of the game for centuries, by one name or another, and that is nothing more than overt bullying, using whatever characteristics of the victim that can be harnessed in the name of psychological abuse. Calling someone a "Pommie ********" is every bit as racist as anything that has happened in Yorkshire.



-- Edited by christ on Wednesday 17th of November 2021 01:17:59 PM

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christ wrote:
Coup Droit wrote:

I don't see anything 'laudable'.


A possible misunderstanding: when I said "Picking on each in turn is laudable" I meant exposing and attempting to remove each in turn, which I believe is laudable.

And try as I might I cannot see any circumstance in which "banter" is acceptable, as the "bantee" is always being bullied/ disadvantaged, even if it is in the name of "humour".

... but, I cannot see removal of banter/ discrimination from daily discourse until we stop being human.


Sorry, yes, I did misunderstand

And I agree with your conclusion but I don't think that's a problem as such.

I mean, you're never going to stop people nicking stuff, but it doesn't mean we shouldn't have laws to stop it and try to enforce them.



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Time to break my silence. I lived in Leeds for 4 years, and regularly attended white ball games, during that period, so would like to make a few statements.

-Rafiq, was a moderate to average player, not even an solid country pro, despite being an England U19 captain, he never really made it. There is nothing wrong with this.
-Rafiq, was also suspended for calling another player and coaches 'wankers', so please remember it takes two to tango in life. See Guardian article on this.
-Sporting changing rooms, and very much that period for Yorkshire players, had a very laddish culture, e.g. boys will be boys. I do not use this as excuse, but joking if your father owns a corner shop, does not make you a member of KKK or the BNP
-Rafiq, despite having a awful time, came back for another spell at the club. The club even make him captain, nominated by the team.....????
-Shahzad, another British Pakistani player for Yorkshire, says he does understand Rafiq's claims, and that he had the best time of his life at the club for a decade.

The woke community are going overboard on this, and hanging out the club to dry, and remembering these are allegations ONLY. Will Rafiq donate the 250k payout to charity??

The saddest part, for the wider UK community, is that this story has received 100 times the media attention, that the killing of David Ames did. Some news outlets had this as the 5th or 6th news item, where as the BBC ran with as top all day. This is the same, BBC that has not even, used the word islam or muslim to describe the weekend liverpool attack yet, or in connection with it.





-- Edited by Vandenburg on Wednesday 17th of November 2021 06:09:29 PM

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... and now it turns out that Azeem Rafiq posted antisemitic messages in his youth, for which he now apologises.

What this says to me is that there was a laddish culture in which there was a lot of banter and bullying directed in any and every direction. To look at the history through the lens of only one particular type of language is to miss the point.

I note now that a laddish drinking culture is now deemed racist too, as it apparently excludes some races (it is not, oddly, seen as being discriminatory toward all non-drinkers, just those of races in which drinking is not a cultural norm. I wonder if any of the people throwing shade and making these statements has ever been a teetotaller in any job?)

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I don't really see the relevance of Rafiq's tweets.

Obviously one can have less sympathy for him as a person. And if he was suing for 'hurt feelings', say, that might be relevant.

But this is about racism in the cricket work place and the fact that management did nothing about it and tried to cover it up.

If Rafiq punched Mr X 10 years ago, and then Mr Z punches Rafiq now, Mr Z is just as guilty. You can't say Rafiq deserved it because he hit someone years ago.

And the fact that there was a 'laddish' culture where people were hitting each other is no excuse either. Mr Z is guilty. And all the more reason that management should have done something. That's part of their job - to implement and maintain the right culture.



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Coup Droit wrote:

I don't really see the relevance of Rafiq's tweets.

Obviously one can have less sympathy for him as a person. And if he was suing for 'hurt feelings', say, that might be relevant.

But this is about racism in the cricket work place and the fact that management did nothing about it and tried to cover it up.

If Rafiq punched Mr X 10 years ago, and then Mr Z punches Rafiq now, Mr Z is just as guilty. You can't say Rafiq deserved it because he hit someone years ago.

And the fact that there was a 'laddish' culture where people were hitting each other is no excuse either. Mr Z is guilty. And all the more reason that management should have done something. That's part of their job - to implement and maintain the right culture.


I agree that X, Y and Z are all equally guilty and culpable. They are all guilty, and all deserve punishment., and if it were punches involved, there would likely be no argument. But Azeem Rafiq is detailing the racism that he and others had to endure, whilst omitting the culture that seems to have prevailed at the time where all minorities came in for abuse from all directions (including from Azeem Rafiq)

The racism allegations are not about today, they are primarily historical, and relate to an earlier period, as do Azeem Rafiq's tweets.

I agree that all "-isms" need to be stamped out, starting with racism if that is the most obvious. BUT I think that there is a difference between "racism" and "banter that uses any or all differences to fuel its flame", because if everyone is "bantering" with everyone else, using whatever distinguishing feature lends itself to being used, then picking out the "racist" banter as racism whilst excusing the "anti-semitic" banter (or the weightest/ sexist/ anything-else-ist banter) is wrong. This is particularly difficult to enforce when looking backward into history: the past is a different country; we only know what we are told about those days and the people doing the reporting appear to be a narrow selection of folk with a particular selection of memories.

One of the examples of racism in the current cricket fiasco is an old bloke saying - historically - "the ----- in the woodpile". This is a saying that couldn't (and wouldn't) be used at all today, but was used in normal day-to-day parlance fifty years ago: looking back it was wrong then, but at the time it was ubiquitous - it would be difficult to find any single person that was a schoolchild in the fifties and sixties that hadn't used such phrases - regardless of skin colour. Does that mean that we should all be unemployable, because of today's mores?



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I agree with a lot of what you say, Chris.

I have a lot of sympathy for people who, nowadays, let slip one 'wrong' word or phrase. Especially if they're older. And especially if it was word that was used as OK in the past (like the politician who got into hot water by using the word 'coloured')

We all know it's easy to have a quick slip of the tongue, especially as you get older, or are tired, or whatever.

However, this doesn't apply to people who continually use offensive terms. As is the allegation in the Yorkshire cricket case.

Also, there is a huge difference between terms from the 50s and 60s (as you quote) and things said in 2010 - it's possible that transphobia, for instance, was a lot less recognised in 2010 as compared with now. BUT recognition of racism really hasn't changed very much in that time. People knew what it was in 2010; and now it's the same (indeed, for certain words that was also 100% known in the 60s). So I'll cut slack for people who said things in the 60s, of course, it's difficult to judge with the same lens as today. But not for the Balance in 2010 (and, more importantly, not for the Cricket Board a couple of years ago).

Also, regarding your phrase, I think there's a lot of difference between a phrase in speech and a term addressed at someone which is obviously derogatory. I used to say 'eeny meeny miny mo' as a kid without even realising what the n* word was. It was a chant, like magic words, like a prayer, they just trip of the tongue, without thinking. It was only when I was about 30 (not having said it for 20 years or so) that I suddenly realised there was a problem ! And quickly learned, thankfully, that it was now 'tiger'. BUT I knew that the p* word was rude, even back then as a kid, and wouldn't have said it and never did.

As far as I'm concerned, words are as they are used. I told my kids I didn't mind if they dropped something on their toe and said "f***". It's actually quite appropriate. I didn't even really mind if they peppered sentences with f***in this and f***in that, although it shows a huge lack of imagination and don't do it in front of Granny. BUT if any of them had told someone to f*** off or called them a f*** whatever, I'd blinkin have the guts for garters. It's hurtful, rude, nasty. And I think the same applies to what Balance said - it wasn't once, it wasn't 50 years ago, it was clearly derogatory, it's not banter.



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