Cricket & Retrospective Racism
Posted on December 5, 2021
As a cricket chairman, one of the most thought-provoking events of the last few weeks, has been the racism scandal at Yorkshire. Is there an inherent racism problem in the game and can people be forgiven for remarks allegedly made a decade ago?
My opinion, which is not necessary the right one, is that if someone can see what they were in the past and have learnt from it, they should be able to move on. We are evolving all the time and many people born in the sixties and seventies have had to shed inherent cognitive prejudices.
As the institutionalised racism row at Yorkshire unfolded, it was interesting to see the reaction of former players. Mathew Hoggard acted quickly to contact Azim Rafiq by telephone and apologise for being part of something he now regretted. Michael Vaughan went for all-out denial, sensing he was fighting for his reputation.
Interestingly, Hoggard’s apology was immediately accepted by Rafiq and it ended right there. The Vaughan situation, however, rumbles on. Vaughan of course, is of a higher media standing than Hoggard and has a lot more to lose than his reputation (money). If it turns out Vaughan is in denial and he is using his legendary captaincy of the 2005 Ashes to see him through, he may well regret it.
Vaughan’s recent interview with BBC’s Dan Walker, seemed to be going okay until Walker read out some of his (Vaughan’s) tweets. I was gobsmacked by the content of them and surprised his agent hadn’t advised him not to be so stupid. The Tweets demonstrate that Vaughan has got an issue he needs to sort out if he wants to move on and restore his reputation. In fairness to him, he said he is embarrassed, but he still denies he had a problem in 2009 and before.
That smells like bullshit to me. He claims he never said anything racist whilst at Yorkshire but admits he has done so since and regrets it. If he has become more racist as he has evolved, then he needs help. I doubt that is the case, but he has boxed himself into a corner. If he had confronted the situation in the same manner as Mathew Hoggard, he would be on the road to redemption and on the Qantas flight to Australia with the BBC Test Match Special team.
This is my opinion. Vaughan’s Twitter posts were utterly brainless. He is supposed to be a highly respected former cricket captain and expert pundit. He is not supposed to be representing ‘Big Dave’, the resident racist down at The Red Lion. My respect for him has gone out of the window, more so because he is choosing what he should be remorseful about. I wouldn’t expect to be the chairman of a village cricket club if I expressed views like that on social media. I would expect to stand down, publicly shamed.
Vaughan should have known better and has been poorly advised. What an absolute tit.