FORMER England captain Michael Vaughan has apologised to Azeem Rafiq for the treatment he endured while at Yorkshire Cricket Club.
The 47-year-old denied that he had ever made any racist comments during Rafiq’s time at the club, but said he was sorry if he was responsible in ‘any way shape or form’ for Rafiq’s suffering.
Vaughan denied making a racist comment but apologised if he ever caused offence to RafiqCredit: PA
Rafiq has called for the BBC to sack VaughanCredit: AP
Rafiq claimed Vaughan had said: “Too many of you lot, we need to do something about it,” to him and three other players in 2009.
But in an interview with the BBC, Vaughan said: “It hurts deeply, hurts me that a player has gone through so much be treated so badly at the club that I love.
“I have to take some responsibility for that because I played for Yorkshire County Cricket Club for 18 years and if in any way shape or form I’m responsible for any of his hurt, I apologise for that.”
Vaughan has repeatedly denied the allegations made against him by Rafiq.
Asked if he ever made any racist comments during his time at Yorkshire, he said: “No I didn’t. No.”
The former England skipper has had double-act show with Phil Tufnell on Radio 5 Live binned amid Rafiq’s claims.
He has also been removed from sponsor Charles Tyrwhitt’s website.
Rafiq has called for the BBC to sack Vaughan completely.
Vaughan did admit he had heard things as a player that were not offensive at the time but would be now.
He retired as a player in 2009, and revealed: “I heard plenty of things in my 18 years as a player in a dressing room which you would not even consider to be acceptable now.
“I would say any sports person that’s out there from that era that says otherwise, I don’t think they’re telling the truth.
“There were things said and back in the day. It wasn’t deemed to be offensive. It would be now.”
He continued: “I can apologise if I was involved in anyway shape or form with a dressing room that had a culture that wasn’t inclusive for everyone.
“My recollections are all the dressing rooms that I played in that we were inclusive to everyone. But I’m more than happy for people to come forward and say you know what that wasn’t the case.”
Vaughan though did go on to admit he was ’embarrassed’ by tweets he had sent out in the past.
In 2010 he wrote “Not many English people live in London… I need to learn a new language.”
Then in 2017, in the aftermath of the Manchester Arena bombing, he replied ‘yes’ to a question asking whether England player Moeen Ali should ask Muslims if they are terrorists.
Speaking on the historic tweets, Vaughan said: “I apologise deeply to anyone that I’ve offended with those tweets.
“Times have moved on and I regret those tweets. We all make mistakes and in my life I’ve made quite a few mistakes on Twitter, I apologise for that.”