Joe Root opens up on Yorkshire racism scandal, emphasizes the need to educate people

In recent months, the Yorkshire County Cricket Club (YCCC) has been the subject of several serious charges. The controversy began when Azeem Rafiq, a former Yorkshire and England U19 captain, claimed that the club has a racist culture. Despite the fact that the charges were made last year, the club took a cautious approach and failed to take the appropriate steps at the time. The situation blew out when the club’s main sponsors, such as Nike, Tetley, Yorkshire Tea, and others, began cancelling their contracts, putting the club’s finances in jeopardy. The main issue was Yorkeshire’s failure to respond to Azeem’s complaints and its decision not to prosecute any of the implicated employees.

Yorkshire was thus barred from hosting any international matches by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) until the issues were remedied. England Test captain Joe Root, who plays for the Yorkshire club, has issued a statement on his social media sites in the midst of the turmoil. The lengthy statement emphasised the need of educating people about racism and raising awareness about the issue. It did not, however, address any of Azeem’s charges or those that have surfaced after the first allegations.

“We must educate, unite, and reset ourselves. I shall reach out to Lord Patel, the incoming chair of the YCCC, to provide help in any way I can,” one section of the lengthy statement stated. Root attempted to underline the importance of everyone accepting diversity and representing England as it is meant to be in his statement. Finally, knowing that the Ashes are just around the corner, he had a message for all English fans. “With the Ashes looming, I’d like to see the home supporters come together and rally behind us as a squad. We’ll be playing for you all,” Root said towards the end of his address.

In terms of this, a lot has happened in England in the last week. During his stay at the club, Azeem has filed 40 allegations of racism. Yorkshire consented to only seven of them, and they also decided not to take action against anyone. This is precisely what began to happen when the ECB and Sponsors took action. Roger Hutton, the club’s chairman, and many board members have opted to resign. Since taking ownership, Lord Patel has delivered several speeches aimed at changing the club’s culture.