No, cricket is not ‘institutionally racist’

Nov 23, 2021 by

by Rakib Ehsan, spiked:

The Azeem Rafiq racism scandal is being used to vilify vast swathes of innocent people.

The racial abuse that British-Pakistani cricketer Azeem Rafiq endured during his 10-year stint at Yorkshire County Cricket Club has rightly outraged many. As has the initial response of the cricket club, which attempted to brush the whole affair under the carpet.

Anyone who saw Rafiq’s damning testimony before the House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee last week would accept that Yorkshire CCC has serious problems to address. Under its new chairman, Lord Patel, it must embark on a radical overhaul of its internal culture. And it will also have to repair the damage done to its relationship with Yorkshire’s cricket-loving South Asian Muslim communities.

Some, however, do not think this is enough. They think the Rafiq scandal exposes the racism not just of individuals at this particular cricket club, but also of English institutions and society more broadly.

For instance, some think Rafiq’s experiences can be used to damn the entire county of Yorkshire. Times columnist Janice Turner blames Yorkshire’s ‘prizing of harsh, unfettered speech’ for the racism Rafiq experienced. She writes of a ‘Yorkshire exceptionalism’ that can stray into a distrust of outsiders.

Is Yorkshire really so bigoted? Such claims are not borne out by the evidence.

Read here

Read also: Yorkshire Cricket (1863-2021) RIP by Peter Mullen, TCW

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