Former England Rugby Caption Excluded From Radio 5 Over Racism Allegations

Former England Rugby Caption Excluded From Radio 5 Over Racism Allegations

By Tim Parsons-

Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan will be excluded from present Radio 5 Live’s Tuffers and Vaughan Show on Monday due to racism allegations, the BBC has said.

The announcement comes after Vaughan said  he completely and categorically denied claims he was racist towards Azeem Rafiq and two other Asian Yorkshire teammates in 2009.

The claim is contained in a report, following an internal  investigation by Yorkshire County Cricket Club into racism allegations made by Rafiq.

Vaughan is said to have said there were “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” to the three players.

Defending himself in The Telegraph about the allegation, Vaughan said: “The allegation came completely out of the blue and more than a decade after it was alleged to have happened made it all the more difficult to process.

“I completely and categorically deny that I ever said those words. I responded to the panel by saying I was gobsmacked and that my professional legal advice was that I could not appear before a panel having had just a few hours’ notice of such serious claims made against me.”

Vaughan’s fate has been made worse by voluntary testimony by other players who claimed to have witnessed his racism.

Hasan, who played for Yorkshire as an overseas player in 2008 and 2009, told ESPNcricinfo he heard the comments allegedly made by Vaughan.

The 43-year-old said he is prepared to give evidence on the matter to any interested inquiry.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo in 2020, when Rafiq’s wide-ranging claims had only just become public knowledge, Rana said: “I fully support what Azeem said and this has been the case with me as well.

“I never spoke about it because, as foreigners, we were temporary and somehow I managed to accept the way it is. So I just focused on playing cricket. I never wanted to jeopardise my contracts.

“At times I used to feel bad, but I decided to ignore it because I knew I was not going to live there permanently. But I know what Azeem went through.”

On Thursday, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) banned Yorkshire indefinitely from hosting international or major matches after the “wholly unacceptable” handling of racial harassment claims.

The BBC said in a statement: “We were made aware of a single allegation which Michael strongly denies and we have been monitoring the situation closely.

“We have made the editorial decision that Michael won’t appear as a presenter on 5 live’s Tuffers and Vaughan Show on Monday.

“The show focuses on topical discussion around current cricketing matters and given his personal involvement, we need to ensure we maintain the impartiality of the programme. We remain in discussion with Michael and his team.”

Vaughan, 47, was England and Yorkshire captain – with a playing career stretching between the 1990s and 2000s, before moving into punditry and commentating.

Writing in The Telegraph about the allegation, Vaughan said: “The allegation came completely out of the blue and more than a decade after it was alleged to have happened made it all the more difficult to process.

“I completely and categorically deny that I ever said those words. I responded to the panel by saying I was gobsmacked and that my professional legal advice was that I could not appear before a panel having had just a few hours’ notice of such serious claims made against me.”

 

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