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Azeem Rafiq discusses his fight against racism

azeem rafiq talks about antiracist acts

Azeem Rafiq, the British Asian cricketer who had featured for Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2008 and 2018, has discussed his anti-racism fight with the club in a recent podcast by ESPN Cricinfo.

According to the cricket giant, it was revealed on Thursday that the Cricket Disciplinary Committee hearing into charges levelled against seven former Yorkshire players, and the club itself, will be pushed back until the new year to allow for appeals against the process taking place in public.

In the podcast that was shot before the announcement, the player said that he believes he will continue to face racial remarks from England because the cost of not speaking for longer is turning out to be hefty.

Seeking intense racism while playing for Yorkshire, Rafiq even made allegations more than two years ago, and luckily, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has been investigating the case thoroughly.

Rafiq, who is all set to appear in parliament next month for another hearing of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee, has decided to relocate his family to Pakistan after “fearing for his life” in the UK.

“I wanted to release trauma from myself. I’ve arguably created more trauma. I feel like I’ve been pushed to do more. Every time I open my mouth, I’m creating trauma; every time I put my head above the parapet, I’m making my future worse for myself.

“After the select committee [in 2021], there was so much hope. I’m an optimist, and I still live in the hope that things will get better for everyone. But I’m going to unapologetically keep calling it out.

He revealed that his family thought he was living the best of times while playing cricket, but deep down, he was dying due to mental pressure and facing racism.

“You can see the cost to me. And I would argue the cost of not speaking up was way worse. I honestly don’t think I would be here if I hadn’t spoken up… My family sacrificed a lot for my cricket, and they thought I was living a dream. The cost of not speaking up was too much.”

His statements, according to the podcast, further, are,

“Did I think that I would have to leave the place I called home for 21 years? No. Did I think my family would be targeted the way they have? No. All it does is it proves – what these people don’t realise is that they are continuing to prove my allegations through their actions.

I’ve been vindicated over and over again in processes that have been rigged against me because there has been no choice but to uphold the central allegations.

Rafiq further says that despite complaints against the racist, things are not yet ended. But, the player is courageous enough to face that and believes that no human deserves to go through what he has gone through,

“It’s been over two years now, and I just don’t see an end in sight. Regardless of what it’s taken out of me, I’ve got full trust in Allah. They aren’t going to scare me, and they are going to push me back; they aren’t going to stop me.

Because as I said, the trauma before speaking out was immense, but what it is now it’s unexplainable. No human being should have to go through what my family and I continue to be put through.”

Also, see:

Yorkshire sack entire coaching staff following Azeem Rafiq racism plot

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