It goes without saying that there can never be any excuse for Racism, yet so many of us feel compelled to explain and justify ourselves. Those of us with too many years under the belt than we like to admit quite likely didn’t grow up surrounded by the best role models.
When people say “that is how it was” it is easy to be dismissive, to think of it as an excuse, but the fact is that it is true. Life was different “back then” and it was different before that, and it will be different again in the future. You can’t alter history, but you can learn from it. You can’t stop progress, but you can ensure it doesn’t repeat past mistakes.
What has this got to do with wanting to force an EGM on Yorkshire County Cricket Club?
Put simply whilst they, like many, have made mistakes in the past they have been reluctant (to be charitable) to own up to them, and negligent (again being charitable) in addressing this.
Azeem Rafiq has unfortunately, but courageously, highlighted what “we all know” that Yorkshire County Cricket Club is Institutionally Racist. We have a lot to thank Azeem, George Dobell and James Butler for in bringing this to our, and now the whole worlds, attention.
As a Yorkshire Member, a cricket fan, a player, a Stage One Umpire and a Level One Coach I am embarrassed that we are facing such an issue. I am more than aware that racism remains an issue throughout cricket, sport and society as a whole.
As a Yorkshire Member I am disgusted (not being charitable now) at the utter contempt that the Board has shown to all of us in the way that they have (mis)handled this whole situation.
As a Cricket Fan I am more than a little disgruntled with the stewardship from the ECB.
An EGM is required because although recent events have provided much needed and overdue impetus to the change that is required the future of the Club is very much in the hands of both the Yorkshire County Cricket Club Board and the ECB, and neither have a track record of including members in their decision making. The appointment of Lord Kamlesh Patel of Bradford is encouraging and he needs time to make changes, and he could of course set a date for an EGM now! Hopefully his changes will include a more inclusive approach across all communities and members, but it really is a huge task, especially if it is to be concluded in time to ‘save’ the Tests and Major Games scheduled for Headingley in 2022. We need the ECB to give a clear, and early, indication of the criteria they will use to assess removal of the suspension. We need Yorkshire County Cricket Club to commit to honour it’s ‘constitution’ and give members a full, ongoing and meaningful role in both the restructuring of the club and running it. These are not big asks in any other walk of life, but in the Cricket World and at Yorkshire County Cricket Club in particular they are huge asks.
To force an EGM at Yorkshire County Cricket Club we need 400 current Full Members to ‘sign up’ with their name and membership number.
If you are a Yorkshire County Cricket Club member and you wish to support the call for an EGM then you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, leave a comment below, or DM either @MarshallCAJ3107 or @cricketjim84 on Twitter with your name and membership number, which will not be shared with anyone other than the club if we reach 400 and need to provide the list of members.