Azeem Rafiq: England's Moeen Ali says he is 'not surprised' by Yorkshire racism scandal

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Moeen Ali has played in 64 Tests, 112 one-day-internationals and 43 Twenty20s for England

Moeen Ali, England's Moeen Ali, says he was not surprised by the Yorkshire County Cricket Club racist scandal. He believes there are more stories but that it will bring about changes in the sport.

A report revealed that Azeem Rafiq, a former Yorkshire player, was the victim of racism harassment and bullying. However, the club denied it would discipline anyone.

Moeen stated, "It's given more people a voice. People who didn't feel that they could speak before and haven't come forward."

"I would not be surprised if there are more, but the fact that this book is out is amazing."

Moeen is part of England's T20 World Cup team. He spoke on the same day Lord Patel, Yorkshire's new chair, said to media that Rafiq must be "praised for his bravery in whistleblowing."

"It's not banter"

The handling of Rafiq's issues by Yorkshire and subsequent investigations has been heavily criticised.

Moeen, a Birmingham-born Pakistani immigrant and practicing Muslim, stated that Azeem was not doing it for his personal gain. He is pushing for change.

After Rafiq claimed that he was subject to "institutional racism" at his club, the club began investigating him in 2020.

Yorkshire has released the results of an independent report on September 7, after more than a year and being asked by MPs. It upheld seven of Rafiq's 43 allegations.

Yorkshire stated that no player, coach, or executive would be disciplined following an internal investigation by the club into the report's findings.

ESPN reported on 1 November that Rafiq was frequently referred to as a racist because of his Pakistani heritage. However, the investigation found it was friendly and pleasant banter.

Gary Ballance, an ex-england international footballer, has said that he was responsible to some of the racist comments directed at Rafiq. He also stated that he regretted his actions towards his "best friend in cricket" but did not believe or understand that Rafa had been suffering.

Moeen stated that it's not banter at end of day.

"Someone might like it and someone else might not. That type of language should never be used, according to me.

"The environment is very important. When the environment is right, that kind of language doesn’t come out."

Yorkshire was banned from hosting England matches. Many sponsors have been lost. However, Moeen believes the scandal will help improve the culture at the club.

He said, "Sometimes you just need to take a step back."

"Players have learned from Robinson's situation"

Moeen claims that he has never been racially discriminated against during his cricket career. However, there is no room for racism in the sport.

Robinson, England's pace bowler, was banned for eight matches in July after he posted racist and sexist comments.

These were the posts Robinson made in June at the age of 18, and 19 when he made his debut during the Test against New Zealand at Lord's.

Moeen stated, "It has made people more aware things they probably weren’t aware of before."

It doesn't look good right now, but it will hopefully make a huge impact in the future.

"This is what we want, and I'm certain that Azeem and everyone else wants it."

"We want to move forward and not have to go through the same thing we are going through now in 5 years, 10 years, or even five years."

"We are a multi-cultural country, where there is diversity and that's all that we want. It's all about learning and accepting everyone.