Anyone watching Azeem Rafiq’s testimony before the Common’s committee on Tuesday revealing the appalling racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club would — just like him — have been moved to tears.
We heard of repeated taunts of ‘P***’ in the dressing room and the time he learnt his unborn child had died, yet was still expected to train and was berated by one of his coaches for his poor performance.
No compassion, no kindness, just constant racist ‘banter’ that left him feeling suicidal, needing medication for depression and ultimately ended his glittering career.
Azeem Rafiq has apologised unreservedly for his ignorance but his message shines a spotlight on the casual, endemic racism against the Jewish community that is still alive today
It was years before Rafiq, 30, found the courage to speak out, to tell of how, aged 15 and a practising Muslim, he was forced to drink wine.
So how sad and confusing for those of us who wept with him to learn now that he had been the perpetrator of racist comments during the very period he suffered such abuse.
In text messages with another Asian cricketer, he wrote of a friend who was tardy in paying for his round of drinks, ‘Hahahaha he is a Jew’ and then ‘only Jews do that kind of s**t’.
Yes, he’s apologised unreservedly for his ignorance but his message shines a spotlight on the casual, endemic racism against the Jewish community that is still alive today.
Jeremy Corbyn with Hamas official Muhammad Totah during a secret trip to Ramallah
What is so troubling is that in certain liberal circles it has become almost an acceptable form of racism.
That’s thanks in no small measure to the pro-Palestinian Momentum mob and the failure of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party to eject swiftly all anti-Semites from their midst.
Meanwhile, anti-Semitic abuse on university campuses is up 59 per cent in a year, with Jewish students concerned for their safety.
In his youthful anti-Semitism, Rafiq revealed a horrible truth — that ridiculing Jewish people is placed in a lesser category to ‘real racism’.
Comic David Baddiel wrote about the shocking way many view this two-tier racism in his book Jews Don’t Count, published this year.
If any good can come from Rafiq’s admission and apology it is that there is nothing casual about hurtful tropes directed at any community, whether they be Pakistani or Jewish.
A primary school in Richmond, South-West London, has replaced Winston Churchill’s name at one of its houses with that of free-meal campaigning footballer Marcus Rashford. Jolly progressive but did it occur to teachers that without our wartime leader, their kids would be making Nazi salutes?
Deadly cost of unjabbed
Around 10,000 more people than normal have died in the past four months from non-Covid conditions like heart disease as their treatment was postponed. Why? Because NHS wards are now full of selfish, deluded, unvaccinated patients who caught Covid.
Have these bed-blockers no shame?
They’ve caused unimaginable suffering to the families of those who did the right thing yet were put at the back of the queue for emergency treatment. A plague on all these selfish idiots.
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint (pictured with J.K. Rowling) are reuniting to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film
Harry Potter and the ingrates
No one’s saying why Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint are reuniting to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter film without his creator, J.K. Rowling. Was she cancelled for her views on transgender issues?
Or is it that these ‘stars’ are too stupid to realise she is a true liberal who created the magical world of Hogwarts and the riches they enjoy?
I wish J.K. would cast a spell on these three to make them discover a little gratitude.
Heart-warming pictures of the female Afghan football team landing for a new life in Britain. But how much prouder we would have been had we also seen Afghan translators and their families arrive here, given the hundreds who fought beside British troops but were cruelly left behind.
Meghan Markle has been challenged about saying she was so poor that she used to drive an old Ford Explorer Sport that was so beaten up the door key didn’t work and she had to climb through the boot and over the seats to drive it.
Her half-sister Samantha claimed it’s all fantasy as their father bought Megs a brand new 4×4.
Meanwhile, despite fears over Her Majesty’s health, some good news for the Royal Family as the Sussexes have declined an offer to spend the festive season at Sandringham —the best Christmas present the Queen could have.
Preparing to play Patrizia Reggiani in new movie House Of Gucci, Lady Gaga studied a cat, a fox and a panther to recreate the animalistic guile of the designer’s wife.
Yet she says she sees herself as a whale because they have ‘very big hearts and even if they want to be small, they can’t’.
Crikey, let’s hope she hasn’t had a hand in the film’s dialogue.
Lady Gaga starring as Patrizia Reggiani in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci
Preparing to play Patrizia Reggiani in new movie House Of Gucci, Lady Gaga studied a cat, a fox and a panther to recreate the animalistic guile of the designer’s wife
Will there be no end to Adele emoting about her divorce and the suffering it caused her and her son Angelo while promoting her new album? The once private singer even included one track My Little Love for Angelo with the lyrics ‘Mummy’s got big feelings. I feel confused. Mama’s got to learn, teach me’. When you ditch half your body weight and your husband to take up with an American sports agent, Mummy, surely it’s your job to teach your child how to cope.
In life, the multi-millionaire novelist Wilbur Smith who has just died aged 88, said his epitaph should be: ‘I did it all. I had it all. Life has been good to me.’ A pity he ensured life wasn’t as good to his three estranged children who he dismissed as getting ‘my sperm, that’s all’.
House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle told Boris to sit down and shut up in PMQs
A fine and fiery moment when the House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle told Boris to sit down and shut up in PMQs. ‘You may run the country,’ he told the PM, ‘but I run this House.’ Never underestimate the tenacity of a man who named his tortoise Maggie.
Irate about the clampdown on second jobs, one self-pitying Tory MP said: ‘The thing no one is mentioning is that we are paid s**t, just 80 grand,’ not mentioning the perks and expenses and gold-plated pensions. Yes, three times the average wage for doing what, it’s becoming clear, is in so many cases a part-time job.
Serena Williams used her profile to highlight the case of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai who ‘disappeared’ after revealing she was forced to have sex with the ex vice-president of President Xi Jinping’s government. Perhaps others like her could also turn the spotlight on a million Uyghur Muslims in ‘re-education camps’ in China where women are raped and sterilised.
Marr the merrier
You know the BBC has lost the plot when they lose a national treasure like Andrew Marr — his departure to pastures greener after 20 years was announced yesterday. I declare an interest as Andrew and the Marr clan have been my friends for more than 20 years.
In her gormless quest for youth and multi-cultural representation, Aunty has forgotten her core mission to act in the entire public’s interest providing services which ‘inform, educate and entertain’, and keeping presenters like Andrew to justify the licence fee.
Sunday mornings will never be the same without The Andrew Marr Show. And if they put politically correct presenters like Amol Rajan in his seat, I’ll stop paying my licence fee.