EXCLUSIVE: BBC diversity group slams broadcaster’s ‘damaging, embarrassing and unsettling’ decision to stand by Michael Vaughan after the ex-England cricket captain was charged by the ECB over the Yorkshire racism scandal
A BBC diversity group has emailed all staff members to express their disgust at the broadcaster’s ‘totally inexcusable’ decision to stand by Michael Vaughan despite him being one of a group charged by the ECB following the racism scandal at Yorkshire.
BBC Sport’s Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) group say in a powerful open letter that while the former England captain – who strongly denies the allegation – is innocent until proven guilty it must be ‘acknowledged how damaging, embarrassing and unsettling this is to many colleagues across BBC Sport, BBC Radio 5 Live and the wider BBC’.
They add that the depth of feeling towards the BBC’s decision is ‘excruciating, overwhelming and unbearable’.
A BBC diversity group has it out at the broadcaster’s decision to stand by Michael Vaughan
‘Colleagues from all backgrounds have been in touch to share their disbelief and dismay, with some moved to tears because of the apparent lack of empathy, understanding and leadership over this. What support is in place for colleagues deeply affected by this – but actually still having to work with Michael Vaughan?’
The broadcaster decided to stand by Vaughan last week. He continues to work for them on England’s Third Test with New Zealand at Headingley.
Vaughan, 47, has been charged with bringing the game into disrepute in connection with the scandal, with disciplinary hearings not set to take place until at least September.
It is understood he will not be asked about the charges while on commentary. Vaughan was initially dropped by the BBC indefinitely in November due to allegations of racism made by Azeem Rafiq, who claimed he told a group of Muslim players in 2009 there were ‘too many of you lot, we need to do something about it.’
Vaughan was taken off air when the allegations became public and did not return until March.
He ‘completely and categorically’ denies the allegations. He is one of seven ex-Yorkshire cricketers charged by the ECB after an inquiry into allegations of historic racism at Headingley.
‘With Michael Vaughan implicated in this scandal and now understood to be charged by the ECB, it feels totally inexcusable that he should continue to appear as a representative of BBC Sport,’ the letter states.