Yorkshire County Cricket Club sponsors pull out over racism

Stephen Chapman's picture
by Stephen Chapman

A number of sponsors say they are ending their association with Yorkshire County Cricket Club in the wake of the Azeem Rafiq investigation.

Publisher, Emerald Group said it was removing its brand association with the club. Yorkshire Tea announced that it would be ending its partnership “with immediate effect.”

It comes after a report found that Rafiq had been a victim of “racial harassment and bullying” at Yorkshire. However, the club stated that no disciplinary action was going to be taken.

Rafiq and senior Yorkshire officials have been called to appear in front of a Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee later this month.

In a statement, Emerald Group, which is the club’s primary sponsor said:

“We do not tolerate any form of racism or discriminatory behaviour and the damaging effects this has. Our intention remains to continue a financial commitment to the stadium itself, which is also the home of Leeds Rhinos rugby, as we believe this supports the aims of diversity and inclusion in sport along with a range of charitable community endeavours.

“Emerald will however no longer sponsor Yorkshire County Cricket Club. We hope that YCCC will listen and respond with serious action to eradicate racism from the club and uphold the values we all expect.”

Yorkshire Tea stated that it’s current partnership was “naturally coming to an end” but this would now be done with immediate effect.

“We were upset to read about the experiences of Azeem Rafiq during his time at Yorkshire County Cricket Club. We wholeheartedly believe that cricket should be a sport for everyone, but his experiences and the way the panel report has been handled don't reflect that.”

David Lloyd Clubs and Tetley’s have also said that they won’t be renewing their partnerships.

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