Former Yorkshire chairman Robin Smith denounces Azeem Rafiq’s handling of racism scandal, accusing DMCS committee of ‘preventing the truth from getting out’
- Robin Smith was critical of committee chairman Julian Knight during racing scandal
- Smith Says Knight Prevented Truth About Rafiq’s Treatment From Coming Out
- Knight has chosen not to release the independent report on Rafiq’s racism claims
- Knight wants to turn his attention to improving cricket in England for the better
Former Yorkshire chairman Robin Smith last night condemned the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport department’s handling of the Azeem Rafiq scandal as ‘monstrous unjust’.
Smith also accused the select committee chair, Julian Knight, of trying to prevent the truth from coming out.
Rafiq was allowed to make charges against former Yorkshire colleagues without risk of redress because of parliamentary privilege, and the committee published his 57-page witness statement before a labor court. But the independent report on his complaints, prepared by law firm Squire Patton Boggs, has not been released.
Azeem Rafiq Testified Before DMCS Committee As MPs Investigated His Claims Of Racist Abuse
Rafiq told the select committee that he had been released from Yorkshire because of his race and his complaints of racism, a claim that remained unchallenged and evoked sympathy from MPs, despite the independent report they had received before the hearing reached the opposite conclusion. conclusion.
As the Yorkshire Post reported yesterday, Squire Patton Boggs concluded that Yorkshire’s decision to release Rafiq in 2018 was ‘purely a cricket match’ because of ‘his form and attitude’, adding that ‘race and religion played no part in the decision not to renew his contract’.
Knight had called on Yorkshire to publish the report last September but chose not to release it after the parliamentary hearing two months later, a decision condemned by Smith yesterday.
“It is monstrously unjust for Julian Knight to hide behind parliamentary privileges for their handling of this matter and for not publishing the independent report,” Smith told Sportsmail. “It’s a deliberate decision to prevent the truth from coming out.”
Knight stuck to his actions yesterday, claiming that since Yorkshire had commissioned the report, any decision about publication was up to the club. He also pointed out that Rafiq (below) had been called before the commission to share his personal experiences rather than undergo forensic examination.
Julian Knight thinks attention should now be paid to cleaning up the image of cricket in England
“The proof that Azeem Rafiq provided the committee was his personal perspective on his own experience,” Knight told Sportsmail. “Our committee has chosen to publish Mr Rafiq’s testimony before the Leeds Labor Court because it provided context to his experiences of racism in Yorkshire.
“We made the decision not to publish Yorkshire’s own report on the inquiry as we felt it was up to the club to do so.
“Our focus should now be on reforming cricket in this country so that no one has to suffer from the racial intimidation and bullying that Azeem Rafiq was found to have experienced.”
Rafiq’s powerful testimony at DCMS had profound implications for English cricket, which have yet to be resolved.
The aftermath included the temporary removal of international matches from Headingley and Yorkshire by the ECB, with 16 staff being fired who had complained about Rafiq’s behavior while at the club.
And Yorkshire is facing expensive compensation claims in connection with those layoffs, and as revealed by Sportsmail, they have already admitted that they did not follow the proper procedure in some cases.
Vaughan is one of the former Yorkshire players charged with using racist language
The ECB subsequently charged seven former Yorkshire players, including ex-England captain Michael Vaughan, with misconduct for allegedly using racist language towards Rafiq.
Unlike Rafiq, most of those individuals have not yet released their version of events publicly, though Vaughan has vehemently denied that anything is going on.