Cricketer-turned-expert Michael Vaughan was axed from BBC Live ‘The Tuffers and Vaughan show’ for allegedly making racist remarks on Azeem Rafiq. The former England captain allegedly sledged Rafiq and two other Asian players by saying “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it.”
BBC released a statement and said that Vaughan will not appear on the show until he is proven not guilty. “We have made the editorial decision that Michael won’t appear as a presenter on 5 live’s Tuffer’s and Vaughan show on Monday. The show focuses on topical discussion around current cricketing matters and given his personal involvement, we need to ensure we maintain the impartiality of the programme. We remain in discussion with Michael and his team,” concluded the statement,” read a statement from BBC.
Racism has been one of the hot topics in England and several cricketers have been accused of passing insensitive comments on Asian players. The topic become more prominent when a few England players, including Ollie Robinson and Gary Balance, got involved in similar controversies.
Vaughan though has denied the alleged claims and said he has never been accused of any related incident in his 30 years of professional association with the sport. “In December 2020, I was asked to speak to the independent panel formed by Yorkshire to investigate Rafiq’s claims. The night before I was due to give evidence, out of the blue, I was hit with the news that Rafiq was alleging that in 2009 before a Yorkshire match against Nottinghamshire, I had said to Rafiq and two other Asian players as we walked on to the field together that there are ‘too many of you lot, we need to do something about it.”
“This hit me very hard. It was like being struck over the head with a brick. I have been involved in cricket for 30 years and never once been accused of any remotely similar incident or disciplinary offense as a player or commentator. I completely and categorically deny that I ever said those words.”
The BBC and Yorkshire Cricket Club are investigating the matter.