Former England captain Michael Vaughan deserves a second chance after being embroiled in the racism controversy involving former Yorkshire player Azeem Rafiq, the director of England men’s cricket Ashley Giles has said.
Rafiq alleged that Vaughan told him and two other players of Asian origin that there were “too many of you lot, we need to do something about it” before a match in 2009. Vaughan has strongly denied the accusation.
Vaughan, 47, was dropped from the BBC‘s coverage of the Ashes series in Australia, which starts in December.
Asked about Vaughan’s situation, Giles, who is in Brisbane with England’s Ashes squad, said he could not comment on the broadcaster’s policies, but added “tolerance is really important.
“We all do make mistakes and we will again. But we have to be able to tolerate, educate and rehabilitate, otherwise people aren’t going to open up and share their experiences and learn,” Giles was quoted as saying by The Guardian.
“Does zero tolerance mean we shouldn’t accept discrimination and racism? Absolutely. But not giving people second chances, I’m not sure that’s a healthy way forward for us.
“We all know that this can be a bit of a minefield. Even the language we use around this area almost changes by the month. So for me, we’ve got to educate more, we’ve got to call it out in the dressing room much more effectively if we see it.”
Giles also backed England captain Joe Root to “do what is right” if he feels his players are being abused by fans during the Ashes.
“If he chose to bring the team into the middle of the field and stop the game while that was investigated, then absolutely,” Giles added.
“I don’t think any of our players should be subject to any abuse actually, but discrimination and racism particularly.”