Two years ago, former player Azeem Rafiq implicated former England captain Michael Vaughan as one of the people involved in the racism issue that occurred in Yorkshire in 2009. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is looking into the subject at the moment, and Vaughan was recently charged for his role in the scandal.
Meanwhile, Vaughan was seen doing commentary for BBC Radio 5 during the third Test between England and New Zealand on day five at Headingley. This has infuriated the in-house diversity group at the BBC, who have sent an email to all of the staff against the decision to employ the player involved in the racism scandal.
The batter, now 47 years old, spent 16 years playing for Yorkshire until being banned by the BBC for his suspected role in the racism issue in 2009. Even though the ECB is looking into the matter, the player has continually refuted the allegations. The choice to let Vaughan commentate was deemed “absolutely unforgivable” by members of a diverse group that included people of African, Asian, and other minority racial and ethnic backgrounds.
“It is completely unconscionable that Michael Vaughan should continue to appear as a representative of BBC Sport because he has been linked to this controversy and it is now known that he will be prosecuted by the ECB. The extent of how one feels about this choice, along with the flood of emotions that accompany it, is terrible, overpowering, and intolerable. Colleagues from all backgrounds from across the BBC have been in touch to share their disbelief and dismay, with some moved to tears because of the apparent lack of empathy, understanding, and leadership over this,” the BBC Diversity group wrote, according to The Guardian.
This is a startling error of judgment, to say the least: Diversity group for the BBC
Rafiq’s revelation of the racism crisis at the Yorkshire club shook the foundations of English cricket. He accused Vaughan and a few other prominent persons, of being engaged in racial harassment and bullying. After that, the ECB began an inquiry into the incident and ultimately decided that Yorkshire could no longer host any international matches.
In addition, the board of directors insisted that the club undertake administrative and staffing changes, as well as invest in the players who are actively participating. The diversity group said that they are “wary” of having this conversation over and over again and believed that it is necessary to recognize this problem.
“This is a very frightening example of a mistake. It has taken a toll on us. We are exhausted. We are exhausted from having the same conversations and repeating the same traumatic experiences over and over again. This point must be brought to everyone’s attention since actions such as these completely undermine the baby steps that we take in the right direction toward fostering more inclusion and understanding,” they said.