How Azeem Rafiq and His Revelations Have Shaken the Very Core Of Sports in the UK?

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Racism has a very sneaky way of getting into almost anything and everything all over the world.

Even with the regular ways in which the world has moved far ahead and through developmental tactics actually tackled this giant social evil, we cannot clearly say out loud that racism has been completely wiped away, especially in the United Kingdom. After the rather emotional message conveyed by cricketer Azeem Rafiq, Jahid Ahmed, Maurice Chambers, Zoheb Sharif, Irfan Amjad, Rana Naved ul-Hasan and another anonymous player, cricket and all its committees all over the United Kingdom, especially those which belong to Liverpool or Essex, have had to hang their heads in shame and take responsibility for the actions of several British cricketers including the very well-known Michael Vaughan. Although Michael Vaughan has till recently denied Rafiq’s comments and emotional outbursts regarding his alleged racist remarks, he has had the grace to talk about the claims in a BBC Interview and apologise for any untoward remark that might have hurt Rafiq’s sentiments by saying that he was “sorry for all the hurt”.

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England Managing Director Ashley Giles who is also the former teammate of Michael Vaughan, one of the major accused in this case, has talked in detail about how there have been very serious deliberations inside the committee regarding this highly sensitive topic and how he is deeply ashamed by the allegations made by Azeem Rafiq that clearly state that he thinks that “the English game is institutionally racist”. There has been “discussion and reflection” on these allegations within the British cricketing board and among the players as they prepared for the Ashes in Australia.

But, Giles has also pointed out that cricket’s fight against racism will be cut short and turn problematic if it becomes a part of the cancel culture in any way. He believes that if people are cut off for making mistakes, then what is the point of rehabilitation and sensitivity training that he promises will be provided to all the perpetrators who have been called out for being racist and insensitive towards mainly Asians. For Giles, if zero tolerance refers to no acceptance of racism and discrimination in the sport, then he is absolutely on board with that. What he is not conducive to and most definitely not on board with is the right to cut people off or in everyday lingo, cancel them, because that leaves no second chances, no rehabilitation and that is indeed a problem. He believes that it is a very tricky area and a very tough decision, but he also believes that if they take the cancel culture route then the gap would just widen and never lessen and the perpetrators would not be able to be sensitised at all.

Giles talked about the emotional interview that Azeem Rafiq, former Yorkshire cricketer gave to gave to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee on the 16th of November, 2021 and said that there were so many new England cricketers who had had watched the testimony as well and how it has given many new Yorkshire players a really tough time because they care about the team and the dignity of each player, irrespective of their race. Giles has added that “We’ve got to do so much better. Discrimination of any form just isn’t acceptable”.

He believes that the cricketing world in England needs to be reshuffled, the power dynamics need to be rearranged and the racism has to be called out in the dressing rooms.

Let us know if you agree with Giles’ comments or not, yeah?

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