The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has charged a former Yorkshire coach over an alleged antisemitic historic tweet.
A tweet allegedly posted by Andrew Gale surfaced during the recent scandal of racism claims in cricket.
Mr Gale, who has denied “each and every” accusation made against him and reportedly described the ECB investigation as a “witch hunt”, has been charged in relation 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.
Mr Gale, a former captain of Yorkshire who became the county’s coach in 2016, is one of seven current and former cricket players charged over the scandal, and an additional charge has been filed against him after he reportedly refused to attend a disciplinary hearing.
The tweet resurfaced at the same time as historic antisemitic comments by former cricketer Azim Rafiq, the leading whistleblower in the racism scandal, who has apologised for his past comments.
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 told Jewish News at the time the tweet resurfaced: “This post is part of a conversational thread between Paul Dews and myself. Paul worked for Leeds United Football Club at the time and I am an avid Huddersfield Town fan. The reference is to a chant that was prevalent at the time in relation to Leeds fans.
“Within a few minutes of the post, Paul called me and explained the meaning of the word and that it was offensive to Jews. I was completely unaware of this meaning and removed the post immediately. You must have been sent a screenshot of the post that someone took at the time and waited eleven years to release. I would never have used the word had I been aware of its offensive meaning and I have never used it since.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism continues to act against instances of anti-Jewish racism in all sports.