Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton resigns amidst racism allegations

Yorkshire chairman Roger Hutton resigns amidst racism allegations

ECB Chairman Tom Harrison has since refuted the claims made by Roger Hutton.

Headingly cricket ground
Headingly cricket ground. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The Yorkshire County Cricket Club (CCC) is in big trouble. In the past few days, the allegations of Azeem Rafiq have once again resurfaced. Rafiq, who is a former England U-19 captain, had last year come out and alleged that during his time at the club between 2008 and 2018, he faced racial discrimination for being a Muslim. 

He even claimed that due to the hostile treatment at the club, he even almost took his life. The allegations were quite serious, but despite it being made more than a year ago, the club has failed to act properly. Now, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have barred the Yorkshire club’s home ground Headingley cricket ground in Leeds from hosting any international match.

Amidst all of this, the Yorkshire CCC Chairman Roger Hutton has quit from his role. He has further claimed that there wasn’t enough willingness from the top authorities of ECB and the Yorkshire CCC to act on the issue. His statement has been refuted by ECB Chairman Tom Harrison. 

I experienced a culture that refuses to accept change or challenge: Roger Hutton

“There has been a constant unwillingness from the executive members of the board and senior management at the club to apologize, and to accept that there was racism, and to look forward. For much of my time at the club, I experienced a culture that refuses to accept change or challenge,” Hutton was quoted by Lexington Herald-Leader. 

The allegation of institutional racism inside the organization made by Rafiq has been found out to be true in some ways. His teammate Gary Ballance accepted using a racial slur for him. Yorkshire CCC had released a statement and report last month accepting only seven of the 40 counts alleged by Rafiq. However, the club refused to punish or take action against any of its employees, players, or executives.

“During my time as chairman, I take responsibility for failing to persuade them to take appropriate and timely action. This frustration has been shared by all of the non-executive members of the board, some of whom have also now resigned,” Hutton said. He had joined the club in the early 2020, two years after Rafiq had left the club.