Former cricketer Azeem Rafiq told a British parliamentary hearing on Tuesday that he was humiliated by the racist abuse.
“Pretty early on, me and other people from an Asian background,” Rafiq told a House of Commons select committee overseeing sport, “there were comments such as, ‘You lot sit there near the toilets,’ ‘Elephant washers.’ The word P*** was used constantly. And there just seemed to be an acceptance in the institution from the leaders and no one stamped it out.”
“Gary Ballance walks over and goes, ‘Why are you talking to him? You know he’s a P***.’ Or, ‘He’s not a sheikh, he’s got no oil,’” Rafiq recalled.
“I got pinned down at my local cricket club and had red wine poured down my throat, literally down my throat,” the 30-year-old Rafiq said. “The player played for Yorkshire and Hampshire. I (then) didn’t touch alcohol until about 2012 and around that time I felt I had to do that to fit in.”
“I wasn’t perfect. There are things I did which I felt I had to do to achieve my dreams. I deeply regret that but it has nothing to do with racism. When I spoke I should have been listened to. The game as a whole has a problem, with listening to the victim. There is no ‘yeah, but’ with racism; there is no ‘two sides’ to racism.”