England Cricket team captain Joe Root took to Twitter on Thursday, and expressed his concerns on the on-going racism allegations made by former player, Azeem Rafiq.
Although, Root has refrained from commenting on the allegations raised by Rafiq, he noted that after not saying anything for so long he felt “compelled to address the current situation” as a senior player at Yorkshire County Cricket Club.
Yorkshire has been heavily criticised, with the England Cricket Board suspending their right to host international matches and other major games at Headingly due to this incident.
Root posted a long message expressing his views on the situation, denouncing the racism seen at the club, saying it has “fractured our game and torn lives apart."
“I just want the sport to be a place where everyone is enjoying it for the beautiful game it is and feels equal and safe,” he said in a statement. “It hurts knowing this has happened at YCCC so close to home. It’s my club that I care passionately about it. I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting. There is no debate about racism, no one side or other. It is simply intolerable.
“These events have fractured our game and torn lives apart. We must now recover and come back together as fans, players, media, and those who work within cricket. We have an opportunity to make the sport I love better for everyone.”
Root urged the County to change their ways and offered to help the club’s new Chairman, Lord Kamlesh Patel.
“I want to see change and actions that will see YCCC rise from this with a culture that harnesses a diverse environment with trust across all communities that support cricket in the county,” he said.
“We have to find a way to move forward and make sure this never happens again. In my opinion, this is a societal issue and needs addressing further afield than just cricket.
“That being said, we, as a sport, all have to do more. How can we all help shape things moving forward positively? What can everyone from myself, the ECB, counties, players, officials and others in the sport do to improve the state of the game? I certainly don’t have all the answers, but I think we need to educate more and earlier; we must call it out straight away and have our eyes and ears open more.
“Inclusivity, diversity and anti-discrimination is something over the past few years the England teams I have been involved in have spent a lot of time talking about and are very passionate about improving and making a big difference. It’s a big part of our culture, and we want to celebrate our diversity. We are representing England, and in that, we are representing the multicultural society we live in. We want all the fans to be able to enjoy what we do on the field and feel proud about who’s representing them.”
(With inputs from Evening Standard)