After highlighting problem of racial abuse in cricket, Azeem Rafiq apologises for antisemitic comments made when he was nineteen
Azeem Rafiq, the cricketer who recently highlighted the problem of racial abuse in cricket, has apologised after antisemitic comments that he made when he was nineteen were revealed today.
The thirty-year-old former Yorkshire cricketer has been praised for exposing racism in the sport, including during his tearful testimony at a hearing of the House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, where he said that racism destroyed his career.
The Times, however, revealed today that Mr Rafiq sent antisemitic messages in 2011, when he was nineteen. According to the newspaper, Mr Rafiq and his interlocutor, former Leicestershire cricketer Ateeq Javid, were apparently discussing another professional cricketer whom they appeared to accuse of being reluctant to spend money on a meal out because “he is a Jew”. Mr Rafiq joked that he will “probs go after my 2nds again ha…Only Jews do tht sort of shit [sic].”
In a statement to The Times, Mr Rafiq said: “I was sent an image of this exchange from early 2011 today. I have gone back to check my account and it is me. I have absolutely no excuses. I am ashamed of this exchange and have now deleted it so as not to cause further offence. I was nineteen at the time and I hope and believe I am a different person today. I am incredibly angry at myself and I apologise to the Jewish community and everyone who is rightly offended by this.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism continues to act against instances of anti-Jewish racism in all sports.