LBC Caller: I got racist abuse every time I worked in dad's shop

16 November 2021, 16:01 | Updated: 16 November 2021, 22:22

Caller details racist abuse experienced in day-to-day life

By Seán Hickey

This caller tells Shelagh Fogarty that he became desensitised to racist abuse due to working with the public in his father's shop.

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As former Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq gives testimony to MPs on the racism scandal embroiling cricket, Shelagh Fogarty spoke to callers about how racism has affected them in their day-to-day lives.

James phoned in from Colchester to share his story, and his view that racism in sport extends far further than being an institutional issue.

"We got racist abuse all the time" the caller claimed, noting that his family owns a shop which he often helped out in.

READ MORE: Yorkshire County Cricket coach suspended over 'historic tweet'

"I'd get racist abuse nearly every time I was in that shop" he said, leaving Shelagh shocked.

He admitted to being "kind of, desensitised to it" as the abuse was such a constant feature of his life and work in the shop.

The caller also shared an anecdote of being at an England v India cricket match at Trent Bridge where he was subject to horrific racist abuse.

Starmer condemns Yorkshire Cricket Club's treatment of Azeem Rafiq

He said that there was a friendly atmosphere until an England player was given out: "Suddenly the mood changed."

READ MORE: Second Asian ex-Yorkshire cricketer 'comes forward alleging racial abuse'

"People were using the P-word, calling us cheats, one guy spat in front of us" the caller told Shelagh.

He said that the decision was reversed after the tea break, which saw the mood switch yet again.

"[A man had] given us a lot of abuse during the tea break came over to us and said 'ah, it's just a bit of banter, isn't it mate?'

Racism faced by Azeem Rafiq is not banter, James says

"We were all just, kind of shellshocked."

"For 40 minutes we were subjected to a tonne of abuse and people expected it to go back to normal as soon as they got what they wanted."

The caller added that the issue is societal, rather than linked to sport: "You can pin it on football – or cricket in this case – that scenario I talked about there, peoples' real feelings coming to light when they're pushed."

"cricket can't solve that"

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