England captain Joe Root says he finds it hard to see his friend and former Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq suffer over his allegations of institutional racism against the club
England captain Joe Root finds the pain of former Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq « hard to see » and called on everyone involved in cricket to play their part in making cricket a more inclusive sport.
Root will lead his team in their now customary ‘moment of unity’ when the third LV = Insurance test against India kicks off Wednesday at Headingley, together against various forms of discrimination.
That in itself is likely to spark many conversations given the current situation regarding Rafiq’s allegations of institutional racism during his time with the club.
Yorkshire apologized to Rafiq last week, admitting he had been a « victim of inappropriate behavior » and saying that « several of the allegations made by Azeem have been confirmed » by an independent investigation they have ordered last September.
This report has been delivered to Yorkshire, along with a series of recommendations, but has not yet been published or shared with the England and Wales Cricket Board in its role as national governing body.
England vs India
August 25, 2021, 10:00 a.m.
Speaking after completing a net session on his field, Root said: “I can’t really speculate or comment too much on a report that I haven’t seen but, as a former teammate and friend, he is. hard to see Azeem suffer as he is.
“More than anything, it just shows that there is a lot of work that we need to do in the game.
“It’s a social problem in my opinion. We’ve seen it in other sports, we’ve seen it in other areas.
“As a sport we have to keep trying to find ways to make sure this isn’t a conversation that keeps happening.
“We have to find ways to create more opportunities, to make our game more diverse, to educate better.
“I don’t think it’s just coming from the players and the administrators – it’s from everyone in the game. There has to be a will and a will to do it and it’s something that we have to prioritize as that sport. «
Rafiq questioned Yorkshire’s response after County said his former player was a ‘victim of inappropriate behavior’ following his allegations of institutional racism
Root confirmed that the moment of unity, which began early this season after the practice of taking a knee was controversially abandoned in the middle of the 2020 campaign, will continue to be a visible part of the response. ‘National team.
“I think it’s really important that we do this. We have to keep showing that we have to create opportunities to show that sport is for everyone, that we desperately want everyone to feel welcome.
“I hope we can do little things a minute on the pitch and around the game, but we have to do more, I understand.
“We are very keen to do more. It has been quite difficult to force action with Covid and the restrictions on what we have been allowed to do with the bubbles.
“But as a team it’s a big priority for us to make the game for everyone and make it the best it can be and as welcoming as it gets.
“I know we keep talking about it, but I’m desperate to do something and hope that over time you can see it come into action. «