English Cricket Club Essex Charged Over Alleged ‘Systemic’ Racism | News

English county cricket team Essex face a possible points deduction and heavy fine after being charged with alleged “systemic” racist language and conduct over a nine-year period. The charge, brought by the independent Cricket Regulator, has echoes of the racism row involving former Yorkshire bowler Azeem Rafiq that caused major repercussions throughout the English game. “It is alleged by the Cricket Regulator that there was systemic use of racist and/or discriminatory language and/or conduct at Essex, during the period between 2001 and 2010, which Essex failed to address,” said a statement issued Monday.

“An independent panel of the Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) will hear the case in due course.”

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Essex said they had fully co-operated with the regulator and would “participate willingly” with the CDC, which will hear the case.

Unlike Yorkshire, who were widely criticised for their handling of the Rafiq case, Essex did appoint an independent senior lawyer, Katharine Newton KC, in 2021 to look into allegations of racist language and conduct made by Jahid Ahmed, Zoheb Sharif and Maurice Chambers.

Newton was brought on board shortly after former Essex and England cricketer John Stephenson took over as the club’s chief executive. 

Her report, published last December, found reference to players’ ethnic, racial and religious origins was “entirely normalised and tolerated behaviour” within the dressing-room culture at Essex between the mid-1990s until around 2013, under the misguided belief it was acceptable ‘banter’.

Essex announced in February they had sanctioned individuals following Newton’s findings, but did not name them.

In July last year, Yorkshire were fined 400,000 pounds ($512,000) — with 300,000 pounds suspended for two years — and docked 48 Championship points and four T20 Blast points.

The punishment was in response to their handling of Rafiq’s allegations of discrimination, and a failure to address the systemic use of racist and discriminatory language between 2004 and 2021.

Two years ago, Essex were fined 50,000 pounds after pleading guilty to the charge that former chairman John Faragher used a racist epithet during a board meeting in February 2017. 

Faragher has repeatedly denied the accusation.


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