Yorkshire & North Derbyshire GMB Regional Equality Forum were shocked and appalled by allegations of racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and the attempts by the club to play it down.
Whether it's in a shop, on the the factory floor or cricket pitch, no one should be subjected to racist abuse at their workplace. Racist slurs are not "banter" and should never be tolerated.
The Forum stands in solidarity with all those suffering racist abuse. Whilst accepting that the Chair and other members of the club's board may not have been at the club at the time of the alleged incidents, we believe they should've done more to address the issue.
We hope that the, albeit belated, resignation of the Chair and other board members leads to changes for the better at the club. The fact that sponsors pulled out, that upcoming international fixtures were taken off the club and, the way the cricketing world and public have condemned the racist abuse, shows that failing to act on racism comes with consequences.
Diversity, inclusion and opposing racism should be a matter of course for any organisation. The Forum expects all organisations to take the issue of racism and, in fact, any discrimination, seriously and to address it whenever it arises. Supporting diversity and inclusion and opposing all forms of discrimination is not a passing fad. It is, and must always be, the right thing to do.
The appointment of Lord Kamelsh Patel of Bradford as Chair brings the chance of a new start for Yorkshire County Cricket Club. We hope that the club makes positive moves to rid the club of any trace of racism and works with others throughout the county to oppose racism in the wider community.
With its tradition for "fair play", cricket is part and parcel of the culture of the country, especially in Yorkshire. We believe in fair play for all, irrespective of their background and culture. The Forum looks forward to a multi-cultural Yorkshire team, supported by a multi-cultural fanbase winning the County Championship.
The Forum looks forward to an end to racism in sport, in the workplace and in the community.