Following the club’s confirmation of a loan offer from a group led by ex-chairman Colin Graves, former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq stated he received racist threats on social media.
Yorkshire were fined 400,000 pounds ($510,560) and docked 48 points in the County Championship last year after an inquiry into racism charges made by Rafiq, who claimed in 2021 that he was a victim of systematic racism at the club.
Graves was the club’s chairman from 2012 to 2015, a time when Yorkshire was accused of failing to acknowledge, and take proper action against, racist and discriminatory rhetoric.
Rafiq has been a vociferous opponent of Graves’ return to the club, telling the BBC in an interview released on Thursday that he was “struggling to understand how we’ve got here” and was filled with irritation and rage.
“It sends a loud and clear message to South Asians that cricket is not a welcoming and safe place for us,” continued Rafiq, who previously stated that the racist attitude at Yorkshire pushed him to the edge of suicide.
“I woke up this morning to a barrage of abuse – racist, Islamophobic, all sorts of things in my DMs – this is what (Graves’ return) empowers.” It gives those fools out there who believe they can be overtly racist more authority.”
Graves has denied any knowledge of racial behavior at Yorkshire during his employment there. He originally claimed that some of the instances were “banter,” but on Thursday he apologized to anybody who experienced prejudice at the club.
Yorkshire’s board of directors accepted the loan offer on Wednesday, with British media saying that the consortium offered an immediate loan of one million pounds, followed by a four-million-pound investment.