'Totally inexcusable': Michael Vaughan was driven out by BBC staff

Michael Vaughan was driven out by BBC staff he did not even work with after email saying it was ‘totally inexcusable’ to continue employing him after he was charged with allegedly using racist language

  • Michael Vaughan was forced out of BBC role by staff who did not work with him 
  • An email was sent to all BBC employees apparently from two diversity groups 
  • It attacked Vaughan’s employment as ‘totally inexcusable’ and ’embarrassing’ 
  • Vaughan alleged to have told four Muslim players ‘there are too many of you lot’
  • Charge dates back to 2009 and BBC suspended Vaughan over it in November
  • Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan was forced out of his BBC role by a few staff who did not work with him, it has emerged.

    Vaughan, 47, announced on Tuesday that he was ‘stepping back’ from his duties as a radio commentator on Test Match Special.

    It followed an extraordinary email sent to all BBC employees the previous day, apparently from two of the corporation’s diversity groups. The message described Vaughan’s continued employment as ‘totally inexcusable’ and ’embarrassing’ after he was charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) with the alleged use of racist language to Asian former Yorkshire colleague Azeem Rafiq. The email came from an anonymous account claiming to represent BBC Sport’s BAME Group and the Radio 5 Live Diversity group.

    The Daily Mail has discovered that many staff at BBC Sport, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds, were unaware of the existence of either group.

    The email is understood to have been the work of six people who are not involved in cricket coverage – the majority are from the BBC’s football and digital services – and who have not sought a meeting with Vaughan to discuss their concerns. One has made themself known internally at the BBC in a follow-up email. The Mail has spoken to several of the group and is aware of all their identities, but has chosen not to name them.

    Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan, 47, was forced out of his BBC role by a few staff who did not work with him, it has emerged. He announced on Tuesday that he was 'stepping back' from his duties as a radio commentator on Test Match Special

    Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan, 47, was forced out of his BBC role by a few staff who did not work with him, it has emerged. He announced on Tuesday that he was ‘stepping back’ from his duties as a radio commentator on Test Match Special

    Former cricketer Azeem Rafiq addresses Parliament. Former England captain Michael Vaughan was alleged to have made a racist remark in 2009 as other counties were accused of racism by ex-players

    Former cricketer Azeem Rafiq addresses Parliament. Former England captain Michael Vaughan was alleged to have made a racist remark in 2009 as other counties were accused of racism by ex-players

    An email from two BBC diversity groups described Vaughan's continued employment as 'totally inexcusable' and 'embarrassing' after he was charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) with the alleged use of racist language to Asian former Yorkshire colleague Azeem Rafiq

    An email from two BBC diversity groups described Vaughan’s continued employment as ‘totally inexcusable’ and ’embarrassing’ after he was charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) with the alleged use of racist language to Asian former Yorkshire colleague Azeem Rafiq

    As well as criticising BBC executives for standing by Vaughan, the email claimed his continued work for Test Match Special was causing considerable distress. ‘Colleagues from all backgrounds from across the BBC have been in touch to share their disbelief and dismay, with some moved to tears because of the lack of empathy over this,’ it read.

    The BBC declined to answer the Mail’s questions about its staff organisations on the grounds of confidentiality.

    The charges against Vaughan date back to 2009, when it is alleged before a Yorkshire match he told Rafiq and three other Muslim players ‘there are too many of you lot’.

    Rafiq’s allegations have been supported by England spinner Adil Rashid and another player but former England fast bowler Ajmal Shahzad has endorsed Vaughan’s claim that he did not use any racist language.

    Vaughan was suspended by the BBC when the allegations emerged last November but returned to work in March. He was one of seven former Yorkshire players charged last month by the ECB in relation to the Rafiq affair. Despite standing down, he remains under contract to the BBC.