Yorkshire Chairman resigns on Rafiq cricket racism case | Seattle Times

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LONDON (AP) – Yorkshire Chairman Roger Hutton has resigned in the aftermath of the racism allegations made by former player Azeem Rafiq against the English cricket club and has referred to the unwillingness of the club to accept the allegations and the refusal to apologize, referred.

“Today I announce my resignation as chairman of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club with immediate effect,” Hutton said on Friday.

“The club’s board members and senior management were constantly reluctant to apologize, accept racism, and look ahead. Most of my time at the club, I’ve experienced a culture that refuses to accept change or challenges. “

Hutton joined the Yorkshire board of directors in 2020, almost two years after Rafiq left his second stint at Headingley, and says he has never met the player.

Yorkshire was suspended from hosting international matches on Thursday as punishment for handling the racism case that rocked the sport.

The England and Wales Cricket Board criticized the club for its “totally unacceptable” response to the racism Rafiq was exposed to.

A number of Yorkshire sponsors have left the ailing club and the ECB said the case “is seriously damaging the reputation of the game”.

“The ECB finds this matter abhorrent and contradicts the spirit of cricket and its values,” the Governing Body said in a statement.

Headingley Stadium in Yorkshire was set to host England’s Test against New Zealand in 2022 and a men’s one-day international game against South Africa, and an Ashes Test against Australia in 2023.

However, the ECB said the club has been “suspended from hosting international or major games until it has clearly demonstrated that it can meet the standards expected of an international venue”.

Yorkshire said last month it would not take any disciplinary action against its staff, players or managers despite a report found that Rafiq – one of its former captains – was a victim of racial harassment and bullying.

“During my tenure as chairman, I take responsibility for not being able to convince them to take appropriate and timely action,” Hutton said on Friday. “This frustration was shared by all of the non-executive members of the board, some of whom have now resigned.”

Rafiq, a former England U19 captain, said in interviews last year that as a Muslim he felt like an “outsider” during his time in Yorkshire from 2008-18 and that he was on the verge of killing himself.

Yorkshire has commissioned a formal independent investigation into more than 40 allegations made by Rafiq, seven of which were confirmed in a report released last month.

On Wednesday, former English cricketer Gary Ballance admitted racially insulting Rafiq when they were teammates in Yorkshire but said that “this was a situation where best friends were saying abusive things to each other that were considered complete outside of this context would”. inappropriate. “

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