Rafiq sorry for anti-Semitic messages

Azeem Rafiq has apologized and said he is “deeply embarrassed” for using anti-Semitic language in the 2011 messages.

Former spinner Rafiq has spoken about his experiences of racism and harassment in Yorkshire and appeared on a select committee for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport this week.

The 30-year-old said he had “absolutely no excuse” for the messages.

“I am incredibly angry with myself and I apologize to the Jewish community.” it said in a statement.External link

Rafiq said he had deleted the messages so as not to cause further offense.

“I have absolutely no excuses. I am ashamed of this exchange,” he said.

“I was 19 at the time and I hope and believe that I am a different person today.”

Rafiq has spoken out strongly about his experiences of racist abuse when he played for Yorkshire in 2008-14 and 2016-18.

He first spoke out in September 2020, claiming that “institutional racism” in Yorkshire left him on the brink of taking his own life.

Yorkshire carried out an investigation that concluded that Rafiq was a “victim of racial harassment and intimidation” and apologized, but was heavily criticized for the way it handled Rafiq’s complaints.

The club also said that no one would face disciplinary action after the report.

Speaking to the DCMS committee on Tuesday, Rafiq described English cricket as “institutionally racist”, and that racist language was used “constantly” during his time in Yorkshire.

Former Yorkshire academy players Irfan Amjad and Tabassum Bhatti have also alleged that they received racist abuse while at the club.

Essex faces accusations of racism and encourages those who have suffered discrimination to come forward.

Earlier Thursday, former Yorkshire bowler and current Somerset bowler Jack Brooks “he apologized without reservation” for two tweets, sent in 2012, that contained racist language.

Brooks also apologized for calling India hitter Cheteshwar Pujara ‘Steve’ when they were both in Yorkshire.


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