Former England cricket captain Michael Vaughan has seen racism charges against him dismissed. But the BBC still refuses to bring him back, showing that for the woke it’s not innocent till proven guilty but guilty even when proven innocent. The Mail has the story.
Vaughan was charged by the England and Wales Cricket Broad with making a racist comment towards Yorkshire team-mates of Asian descent Azeem Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Ajmal Shahzad before a match in 2009.
It was alleged Vaughan told them: “There’s too many of you lot, we need to have a word about that.”
However, the Cricket Disciplinary Commission dismissed the charges against 2005 Ashes winner Vaughan in a verdict released on Friday morning.
The verdict said “on the balance of probabilities” Vaughan did not use racist language “at the time and in the specific circumstances alleged.” …
Vaughan has always categorically denied using racist language.
The CDC said in its verdict: “The Panel is not satisfied on the balance of probabilities that these words were spoken by MV [Vaughan] at the time and in the specific circumstances alleged.”
It added there were “significant inconsistencies” in the evidence given by primary witnesses Rafiq and Rashid.
It added its findings “do not in any way undermine the wider assertions” made by Rafiq about racism at Yorkshire CCC.
Vaughan’s lawyer Christopher Stoner KC had highlighted flaws in the ECB’s investigation during the CDC hearing in early March, specifically the fact that as many Yorkshire players in that 2009 team as possible weren’t sought out or interviewed. Rafiq’s main support came from team mate Adil Rashid, who is also his business partner, though Rafiq denied blackmailing him into supporting his position.
Vaughan issued the following statement this morning:
It has been both difficult and upsetting to hear about the painful experiences which Azeem has described over the past three years.
The outcome of these CDC proceedings must not be allowed to detract from the core message that there can be no place for racism in the game of cricket, or in society generally.
As with others who have spoken about their time at Yorkshire, I can only speak of my own experiences and of my own time there. The dismissal of the specific charge that concerned me takes nothing away from Azeem’s own lived experiences.
The hearing made public that Azeem and I met 18 months ago, well before the CDC proceedings came into existence.
I told him then that I am sorry for his unacceptable, negative experiences at the club I love and in the sport I love. We had what I thought was a really positive and constructive discussion.
We shook hands with a shared intention to work together in order to create positive change in cricket.
For my part, nothing has altered in that respect. There is still a job to do and I remain keen to help bring about positive change in any way that I can. Cricket has been my life. Particularly with an issue such as this, CDC proceedings were an inappropriate, inadequate and backwards step.
One of many reasons why I hold that view is because CDC proceedings are adversarial. They invite claim and counterclaim. They invite those involved to accuse each other of untruths or of lying.
The inevitable consequence of the ECB’s decision-making was that three former teammates, one of whom is a current England international player, were pitted against one another in what later became a public forum for the world at large to see.
Despite being criticised by the ECB for not accusing others of lying. I remain of the view that no good can come of that approach. There are no winners in this process and there are better ways — there have to be better ways — for cricket to move forward positively and effectively.
I have never wanted to do anything that runs contrary to genuine efforts to clean up the game of cricket. I truly hope people can understand why, on a personal level, I could not just accept, or apologise for, something which I know I did not do.
The CDC panel found a number of other figures guilty of charges which consist of the use of racist insults and language. Andrew Gale was found to have referred to Rafiq as “Rafa the Kaffir” and to have used the term ‘Paki’ including calling a player a “shit Paki”. Matthew Hoggard was found guilty of using the term ‘TBM’ or ‘token black man’ towards Ismail Dawood in 2004 and 2005 in the Yorkshire environment.
John Blain has said he will appeal being found guilty of using the term ‘Paki’ in 2010 and 2011, telling the Telegraph:
I’ll continue to fight this by whatever means are available. I guess there will be an appeals process and a subsequent process after that will have to be also considered. I’ve always said that I wouldn’t rule out having to go to the High Court to contest this because it’s a huge miscarriage of justice. It’s unfair and very difficult to digest when I’ve done nothing. I’ve done absolutely nothing wrong and that’s the hardest thing.
I’ve suffered north and south of the border. The collusion that was involved in England has obviously carried over into Scotland because of the characters involved. It’s a very difficult situation but the Lord has given me a cross to carry and I must try to carry that as best I can.
It’s an unfair and unjust situation. The process itself will be very difficult moving forward. These things take time but I have to move on and try to get justice. It’s hard to accept. I’ve done nothing wrong and I have the clear evidence to prove that.
Vaughan was stood down from the BBC’s coverage of England’s Ashes series in Australia after Rafiq made the allegation in November 2021; he also left his own BBC radio show. Despite being found innocent, the BBC pathetically said it “wouldn’t be appropriate for Vaughan to have a role in our Ashes team or wider coverage of the sport at the moment”. We might wonder what happened to innocent until proven guilty? This is more like guilty even when proven innocent. Where has the liberal love of rehabilitating offenders gone? The BBC won’t even ‘rehabilitate’ the acquitted.
The most obvious conclusion from this mess is that this is no way to address problems of a culture of racist language and banter at sports clubs. Why make the stakes so high? Why cancel people’s careers, bring sports clubs to the point of bankruptcy and invite a media circus? What an absurd over-reaction, one which is surely indicative of a moral panic and not a proportionate response to the problem. Of course cricket players need to clean up their language and stop using terms that make people feel belittled. But as Vaughan says in his statement, there must be a better way of doing it than this. The stakes need to come down, the publicity needs to go away (which only comes with the high stakes and public hearings), and the management just needs to take steps to end the gratuitous use of racist language and insults, even in jest. But is woke Britain capable of taking proportionate action anymore?
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