Michael Vaughan: I'm sorry for the hurt Azeem Rafiq has gone through

By Sports Desk November 27, 2021

Michael Vaughan has apologised "for the hurt Azeem Rafiq has gone through" amid his former Yorkshire team-mate's allegations of racism. 

Former England captain Vaughan was this month named in a report investigating Rafiq's claims of institutional racism at the county club.

The 47-year-old, who played for Yorkshire from 1993 to 2009 and led England to Ashes glory in 2005, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rafiq's version of events have been supported by Adil Rashid and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.

Vaughan, who was stood down from the BBC's coverage of the Ashes in wake of the allegations, has again denied the accusations made against him.

"I'm sorry for the hurt [Rafiq's] gone through," he told the BBC. "Time, I don't think, can ever be a healer in the situation that he's gone through.

"But hopefully time can be a way of us making sure that Yorkshire County Cricket Club never goes through this situation again and never puts themselves in a position of denial that they treated a player so badly."

He added: "It hurts deeply, hurts me that a player has gone through so much and be treated so badly at the club I love.

"I have to take some responsibility for that because I played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club for 18 years and if in any way shape or form I'm responsible for any of his hurt, I apologise for that."

Asked if he made any racist comments during his time at Yorkshire, Vaughan said: "No I didn't. No."

However, Vaughan, whose playing career spanned 18 years and saw him represent England for a decade, accepts there were many things he heard in dressing rooms that he "would not even consider to be acceptable now".

He added: "I would say any sportsperson that's out there from that era that says otherwise, I don't think they're telling the truth. There were things said and back in the day, it wasn't deemed to be offensive. It would be now.

"I can apologise if I was involved in any way, shape or form with a dressing room that had a culture that wasn't inclusive for everyone.

"My recollections are all the dressing rooms that I played in that we were inclusive to everyone. But I'm more than happy for people to come forward and say, 'you know what that wasn't the case'."

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