Cricketer faces racism and bullying on the Yorkshire team

Former cricket player Azeem Rafiq, who spent most of his career in Yorkshire, has been a victim of racist comments from his team players which led him to nearly ending his life. He expresses that he was been constantly abused and harassed against his teammates with regards to his Pakistani heritage whilst his time at the club. His colleagues would make belittling and derogatory comments such as “don’t talk to him, he is a p***”. He further tells us that “all he wanted to do was play cricket but there was a constant attack of institutional racism”.

Yorkshire’s response

Yorkshire Cricket Club settle Rafiq’s employment tribunal claim. New chairman Lord Kamlesh Patel apologised to Rafiq and his family and Rafiq settled receiving a six-figure payment. He released in his statement that he accepts the apology and that he would not be signing a non-disclosure agreement as he wanted to speak out about what happened and make a change.

How is Rafiq protected as an employee?

The Equality Act 2010 sets out what are called ‘protected characteristics’; these are any personal criterion that define an individual such as race, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation etc. and are all protected from discrimination under the act. The 2010 act provides four different types of discrimination which applies to the protected characteristics.

  1. Direct Discrimination – This is where the claimant has been treated less favourably because of a protected characteristic.
  2. Indirect Discrimination - occurs when there is equal treatment of all groups, but the effects of the provision, criterion or practice imposed by an employer has a disproportionate adverse impact on one group, unless the requirement can be justified.
  3. Associative Discrimination – This is where someone is treated less favourably because they associate with an individual who has a protected characteristic.
  4. Perception Discrimination - This is where someone is treated less favourably because it is perceived that they have a protected characteristic. Rafiq brought a claim after resigning from the cricketer club and claimed constructive dismissal. Constructive dismissal is when an employee is treated so badly by their employer, they have no choice but to resign from their employment. If the employee resigns within a reasonable time after the breach by their employer, they would be able to bring an unfair dismissal claim against their employer.

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