Azeem Rafiq case: Yorkshire board ignored complaints of racism

Yorkshire board ignored complaints of racism and paid ‘lip serviceto tackling problem, says club’s former cultural diversity officer during Azeem Rafiq investigation and claims players from Asian backgrounds were held back

  • Yorkshire’s former cultural diversity officer claims the term ‘P***’ was regularly used at the club
  • Tony Bowry also alleges the Yorkshire board ignored complaints of racism
  • Bowry gave evidence in support of Azeem Rafiq’s allegations against the club
  • ‘A lot of lip service was paid to things. Something has to be done,’ Egli ha detto
  • Yorkshire’s former cultural diversity officer claims the term ‘P***’ was regularly used throughout his time at the club.

    Tony Bowry, who held the role from 1996 per 2011, also alleges the Yorkshire board ignored complaints of racism and believes the club paid ‘lip service’ to trying to tackle the problem.

    Bowry gave evidence in support of Azeem Rafiq during the investigation into the player’s allegations of racism, which have rocked Yorkshire. The subsequent report found that Rafiq had been called a ‘P***’ by team-mate Gary Ballance, but this was dismissed as ‘banter’.

    The term ‘P***’ was regularly used at Yorkshire, says the club's former cultural diversity officer

    The term ‘P***’ was regularly used at Yorkshire, says the club’s former cultural diversity officer

    Former Yorkshire employee Tony Bowry made the revelation while giving evidence in support of Azeem Rafiq (nella foto)

    Former Yorkshire employee Tony Bowry made the revelation while giving evidence in support of Azeem Rafiq (nella foto)

    Asked if he was aware of that derogatory term being casually used at Headingley, Bowry, who is of Caribbean origin, disse: 'Assolutamente. Era lì. One colleague I worked with said to me, “You’re OK, but I don’t like them P****”. ‘I came down very hard on him because I really didn’t like what he said.

    ‘Banter and racism don’t go together. They are two different things. It was reported on several occasions to the board.

    ‘We had a BAME forum, which dealt with these sort of things and when reported to the BAME forum, it got taken to the board meetings. They did not always do a lot with it from there. That’s where it ended.

    ‘There were many sides to what you saw or what you didn’t see at Yorkshire. A lot of lip service was paid to things. They have to change. Something has to be done.’

    A protest was held outside the club's Headingley stadium in support of Rafiq

    A protest was held outside the club’s Headingley stadium in support of Rafiq

    Bowry said he believed Yorkshire players from Asian backgrounds were held back

    Bowry said he believed Yorkshire players from Asian backgrounds were held back

    Bowry also believes Yorkshire players from Asian backgrounds were held back because of their skin colour.

    ‘Some of the Asian players came to me and we had talks,’ he told BBC Radio 5 Vivere.

    ‘One of them wanted to stay in the game and I asked him about becoming an umpire.

    ‘He eventually went down that route and he was on the umpires’ reserve panel for about four or five years without any promotion, although he had good records.’