Azeem Rafiq meets Holocaust survivor after revelations over messages mocking Jews
Cricket whistle-blower Azeem Rafiq has met a Holocaust survivor after it was revealed he sent anti-Semitic messages as a 19-year-old.
The former Yorkshire player toured the Jewish museum in north London and met 86-year-old Ruth Barnett who fled Nazi Germany aged four.
Last week Rafiq’s evidence before MPs in Westminster rocked the world of cricket as he explained how his career at Headingley had been blighted by racism.
Two days after his evidence it came to light that he had sent messages a decade earlier that mocked Jewish people.
Ruth Barnett explained to Rafiq how anti-Semitism had featured throughout her life. She told him: “I wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t escaped.”
“I would recommend that everyone is introduced to a few Jews and find out that they are just human – flaws and all.”
When asked by the Jewish Chronicle about what he had learned from the meeting the cricketer said: “I just feel if I had had more interaction and more understanding like I have had this morning I have already learned some things that I never knew.
“It just feels like we don’t get on the same table together enough,” Rafiq said.
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Following his account of racism at Yorkshire, many others within the game have stepped forward with similar stories of abuse.
It’s prompted the England and Wales Cricket Board to promise widespread change within the sport.
The ECB is expected to publish this week details of a 12-point plan to radically improve inclusivity within cricket.
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