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  5. Hard to see him hurting, still lot needs to be done: Joe Root on Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq

Hard to see him hurting, still lot needs to be done: Joe Root on Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq

Rafiq, a former England U-19 captain, had last year said that he was close to taking his own life after facing racism during his time at Yorkshire from 2008 to 2017.

PTI Written by: PTI
Leeds (England) Published on: August 23, 2021 23:35 IST
Joe Root
Image Source : GETTY

Joe Root

England captain Joe Root on Monday said it is hard to see his former Yorkshire teammate Azeem Rafiq "hurting" following his allegations of "institutional racism" at the cricket club and urged all the stake-holders to create more awareness about the issue.

Rafiq, a former England U-19 captain, had last year said that he was close to taking his own life after facing racism during his time at Yorkshire from 2008 to 2017.

The club issued an apology last week saying he was victim of "inappropriate behaviour".

Root said there is still a lot of work to be done to address racism in the game.

"I can't really speculate or comment too much on a report that I've not seen but as former teammate and friend, it's hard to see him hurting as he is," Root said ahead of the third Test against India.

"And I think more than anything, it shows that there's still a lot of work that we have to do as a game.

"This is a societal issue in my opinion. We have seen it in other sports, seen it in other areas, and as a sport, we've got to keep trying to find ways of making sure that this isn't a conversation that keeps happening.

"We've got to find ways of creating more opportunities, making our game more diverse, educate better, and that thing that just comes from players and administrators.

"As everyone involved in the game and there's got to be a want to do that and a will to do that. It's something that we have to prioritise as a sport and make sure that you know this isn't something that happens again further down the line."

Root said the sport has to keep creating awareness on racial discrimination with regular initiatives and gestures.

"We have to keep showing that we need to keep trying to create opportunities trying to show that the sport is for everyone and that we know we're desperate to make everyone aware of that and feel welcome to.

"It is such a brilliant sport, it should be enjoyed by absolutely everyone, hopefully, through different things that we can.

"Small things we can do for a minute on the field then and around the games and we absolutely have to take the opportunity to do them, we have to do more."