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Cricket whistleblower Azeem Rafiq apologizes for anti-Semitic comments




Azeem Rafiq, the former cricketer whose revelations about the racism he suffered in Yorkshire has sparked a crisis in the English game, has apologized after admitting he sent anti-Semitic messages 10 years ago.

The British newspaper The Times of London reported seeing an exchange of messages that appear to have been sent between Rafiq and another former cricketer, Ateeq Javid, containing disparaging remarks about an unnamed Jewish person.

Rafiq confirmed in a message on Twitter on Thursday (Friday NZT) that he sent the messages and has absolutely no apologies.

I am ashamed of this exchange and have now removed it so as not to cause further offense,” Rafiq wrote.

* The Accused: 12 England Cricket Characters Picked in Explosive Azeem Rafiq Racism Testimony
* English cricket racism denounced by former player Azeem Rafiq during parliamentary hearing
* Michael Vaughan fights to save reputation as racism claim backed by another player
*Yorkshire head coach Andrew Gale banned for anti-Semitic tweet as fallout continues

I was 19 then and I hope and believe that I am a different person today. I am incredibly angry with myself and apologize to the Jewish community and anyone who has rightly been offended by this.

Rafiq, a former England Under-19 captain, testified in a parliamentary hearing on Tuesday tearfully about his experiences of racism and bullying while playing for Yorkshire.

The England and Wales Cricket Board has banned Yorkshire from hosting international matches for its totally unacceptable response to the racism faced by Rafiq, with some county club sponsors terminating deals.

On Thursday, Britain’s Sports Secretary Nigel Huddleston called for cricket to put things in order and suggested the possibility of independent regulation if it didn’t.




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