Azeem Rafiq and Andrew Gale have both been reprimanded by the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) for historic antisemitic social media posts and acting in a way that is “prejudicial to the interests of cricket”.
The charges brought against Mr Rafiq by the England and Wales Cricket Board relate to Facebook messages exchanged with former Leicestershire cricketer Ateeq Javid in 2011. According to the newspaper, Mr Rafiq, who was nineteen at the time, and his interlocutor 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].”
Mr Rafiq has since apologised and looked to learn more about anti-Jewish racism. In a JC-organised tour of the Jewish Museum, Mr Rafiq was accompanied by Holocaust survivor Ruth Barnett and Mr Silverman, who explained the history of the antisemitic trope of Jews and money and why Mr Rafiq’s historic remarks had been so hurtful.
In response to the ruling from the CDC, Mr Rafiq tweeted earlier this week: “This summer, I unequivocally accepted a charge from the ECB regarding my antisemitic social media post from 2011. You will hear no complaint from me about the CDC’s decision today.
“It is deserved and I fully accept this reprimand. I want to repeat my apology to the Jewish community. I remain ashamed and embarrassed. I hope I have demonstrated in the past 10-11 months that I am trying to educate myself about the horrors and prejudice the Jewish community has historically – and continues – to face.
“I will keep trying and I thank the Jewish community for the forgiveness and kindness that has been shown to me so far.”
The charges against Mr Gale relate to a 2010 tweet that included the words “Button it y**!” The tweet is believed to have been sent in reply to Leeds United Football Club’s then Head of Media, Paul Dews.
Yorkshire initially suspended Mr Gale pending a discplinary hearing into his message, but he was then fired along with Yorkshire’s entire coaching staff. The cricket club then admitted that unfair dismissal complaints by him and five of his former colleagues were “well-founded” as part of wider legal battles over the terminations.
Mr Gale initially denied “each and every” accusation made against him and reportedly described the ECB investigation as a “witch hunt”, but has reportedly admitted culpability in response to the CDC’s verdict.