Several sponsors cut ties with Yorkshire

Former England youth captain Azeem Rafiq captained Yorkshire in a Twenty20 match in 2012

Several sponsors have ended their partnerships with the Yorkshire County Cricket Club as the fallout from Azeem Rafiq’s investigation continues.

The title sponsor, Emerald Publishing and Yorkshire Tea, have severed ties with the club.

Rafiq will testify in person to MPs in a report on allegations of racism he made against Yorkshire.

The report found that Rafiq had been the victim of “racial harassment and intimidation” at the club.

However, Yorkshire has said no disciplinary action will be taken.

Senior Yorkshire officials have also been summoned to attend the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee hearing on 16 November.

Yorkshire President Roger Hutton will be questioned by MPs, along with Chief Executive Mark Arthur and Cricket Director Martyn Moxon.

Witnesses who testify before certain committees are protected by parliamentary privilege, which means that they are immune from the threat of civil or criminal proceedings related to what they say.

On Wednesday, Emerald Publishing said that while withdrawing its “brand association” with Yorkshire, it would continue its financial commitment to Headingley, where the home stadium of the Leeds Rhinos rugby league team is also based.

Yorkshire Tea terminated its membership with the club with “immediate effect”, while leisure club operator David Lloyd said it has chosen not to reestablish its association.

Tetley Beer said it had informed Yorkshire that its sponsorship would not extend beyond the end of the current contractual agreement.

MP Julian Knight has asked the Yorkshire County Cricket Club board of directors to resign after a leaked report emerged that apparently contains details of the investigation into Rafiq’s treatment.

A story published by ESPN says the report had concluded that a racially offensive term used towards Rafiq was considered a “joke.”

Knight, chairman of the DCMS select committee, called it “one of the most disgusting and disturbing episodes in modern cricket history.”

In a tweet, he added: “Given the endemic racism at the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, it is hard for me to think of any reason why the board should remain in office.”

YCCC did not comment on any of the allegations when contacted by BBC Sport.

Knight’s comments came after UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid called for “heads rolling” in Yorkshire and said that if the Cricket Board of England and Wales (ECB) failed to take action, “it is not appropriate. for your purpose. ” Furthermore, he claimed in a Twitter post that the term allegedly used to describe Rafiq was “no joke.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries called Rafiq’s treatment “disgusting” and said “the investigation that followed only makes it worse.”

In a tweet, he added that any ECB investigation must be “promptly and completely transparent. Racism must be confronted and NEVER dismissed as a mere ‘joke.’

Meanwhile, Yorkshire MPs have called on the ECB to launch an “immediate, thorough and independent investigation into the racist abuse.”

At letterExternal link, said that referring to the use of a racially offensive term such as “jokes” was “truly abhorrent.”

“Azeem Rafiq was not given the dignity and respect he deserved, it is now up to the ECB to ensure that this degrading incident is not repeated,” it read.

The ECB has started its own investigation and a spokesperson said: “Last week, we received the report from the Yorkshire CCC on the allegations of racism and intimidation made by Azeem Rafiq against the club.”

” We are aware of how long Azeem has waited for the resolution and the price that must be charging for his well-being and that of his family. We regret that as a sport this has yet to be resolved.

” We will carry out a full regulatory process that is fair to all parties, but we will also make sure this happens as quickly as possible. To achieve this, we have secured the services of a quality control, along with other external research support to improve the resources around our process. The ECB’s board of directors has also reaffirmed its commitment to provide more additional resources, should the investigation require it.

” We are aware that the [DCMS] The Select Committee has called on Yorkshire President Roger Hutton to testify. In the meantime, we will continue our investigation. ”

Last year, Rafiq claimed “institutional racism” at the club left him close to killing himself.External link

Seven of the 43 complaints were confirmed in a report by an independent panel.

Hutton apologized to Rafiq, who had two seasons with Yorkshire, the second ending in 2018, and said there was “no question” that during his first stint at the club he had been “a victim of racial harassment.”

However, the club recently said will not take disciplinary action against any player, employee or executive for harassment.

Rafiq report timeline

September 2, 2020: ESPN Cricinfo publishes an interview with RafiqExternal link in which he claims that “institutional racism” at the Yorkshire County Cricket Club left him on the brink of taking his life.

September 3, 2020: Yorkshire says have launched a “formal investigation” into the claims made by Rafiq and President Roger Hutton says the club will undertake a “broader review” of its “policies and culture”

September 5, 2020: Yorkshire ask an independent law firm to investigate allegations of racism against the club by Rafiq.

November 13, 2020: Rafiq says he hopes to make a “significant change” after giving his first statement to the investigation.

December 15, 2020: Rafiq files a legal claim against Yorkshire “alleging direct discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, as well as victimization and prejudice as a result of trying to address racism at the club.”

February 2, 2021: Yorkshire threatens a lifetime ban for anyone who has made threats against Rafiq or his family and legal team after ESPN Cricinfo showed them messages sent to Rafiq’s law firm.

June 17, 2021: A case before a labor court between Rafiq and his former Yorkshire club does not find a solution. The independent investigation into his accusations of racism is ongoing.

August 16, 2021: Yorkshire receives the finds from an independent investigation into the racism allegations and, two days later, the Cricket Board of England and Wales (ECB) ask for a copy.

August 19, 2021: Yorkshire, has yet to release the report’s findings at this stage, to admit Rafiq was “the victim of inappropriate behavior” and offered his “deep apologies”.

Rafiq accuses Yorkshire of downplaying racism calling him a victim of “inappropriate behavior”.

September 8, 2021: MPs tell Yorkshire publish the findings of the report “immediately”.

September 10, 2021: Yorkshire publishes the report’s findings, which says that Rafiq was “a victim of racial harassment and intimidation” and seven of the 43 accusations made by the player were confirmed by an independent panel.

According to Hutton, the report said there was “insufficient evidence to conclude that the Yorkshire County Cricket Club is institutionally racist.”

Yorkshire released a summary of the report and the panel’s recommendations, but said the full report could not be published for legal reasons “in relation to privacy law and defamation.”

October 8, 2021: Yorkshire misses a deadline send the full report to Rafiq and his legal team after BBC Sport understands that an employment judge ordered the club to publish it in full before Friday 8 October.

October 13, 2021: Rafiq then receives a heavily redacted version, while the ECB says it is still waiting for the full report.

October 28, 2021: Yorkshire says it conducted its own internal investigation after the report’s findings. and concluded that “there is no conduct or action taken by any of its employees, players or executives that justifies disciplinary action.”

November 2, 2021: The select committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport asks Hutton to appear before it to answer questions about Yorkshire’s handling of a report on Rafiq’s accusations of racism.

Julian Knight MP, Chair of the DCMS Select Committee, calls on the Yorkshire County Cricket Club Board of Directors to resign after a leaked report emerges that apparently contains details of the investigation into Rafiq’s treatment.

A story published by ESPN says the report had concluded that a racially offensive term used towards Rafiq was considered a “joke.”

Knight makes his remarks after UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid called for “heads to roll” in Yorkshire and said if the ECB did not take action “it is not fit for purpose”. He further states in a Twitter post that the term allegedly used to describe Rafiq was “no joke.”

November 3, 2021: The DCMS hearing date is scheduled for November 16 and Rafiq is called to testify in person, together with senior Yorkshire officials.

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