Racism is everywhere. It's a dangerous disease. Pakistani-born, English cricketer Azeem Rafiq was a victim of racism. Last week he urged England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to look into the year-old matter of racism against him in the club.
As he plays for Yorkshire County Cricket Club, the club had launched an investigation in September 2020 and soon after his latest comments, the club released a statement accepting that the cricketer was 'the victim of inappropriate behavior'.
England skipper Joe Root has also opened up against that racism issue. He believes that everyone entitled needs to find new ways to make the sport more diverse. Being a former teammate and a good friend of Azeem, Root expressed his disappointment over what Rafiq had to go through during his stint with the club.
"As a former team-mate and friend, it's hard to see Azeem hurting as he is. More than anything, it just shows that there is a lot of work we have to do in the game. It's a societal issue in my opinion. We have seen it in other sports; we have seen it in other areas. As a sport, we have got to keep trying to find ways of making sure this isn't a conversation that keeps happening.
"We have got to find ways of creating more opportunities, making our game more diverse and educating better. I don't think that just comes from players and administrators: it's from everyone in the game. There has got to be a want and a will to do that. It is something we have to prioritize as a sport and make sure this isn't something that happens again further down the line," Root said according to ESPNCricinfo.
England to observe a moment of unity at Headingley
The English captain also revealed that his team will observe a 'moment of unity' to show solidarity with the ones suffering from racism ahead of the third Test against India at Headingley. He also felt that this unity is to show that the sport is for everyone and nobody should be discriminated against based on color and other things.
"I think it is really important we have the moment of unity. We have to keep showing the sport is for everyone and that we are desperate to make everyone feel welcome to it. It's such a brilliant sport and should be open to everyone. We have to do more, I get that.
"But, as a team, it is a big focus for us to make the game for everyone and to make it as welcoming as we can. I know we keep talking about it but I am desperate to do something about it. Hopefully, in time, you can see that come into action," the English skipper added.