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BBC diversity group slam broadcaster decision to stand by Michael Vaughan

EXCLUSIVE: BBC diversity group condemns the broadcaster’s ‘damaging, embarrassing and disturbing’ decision to assist Michael Vaughan after England’s ex-cricket captain was charged by the ECB over the Yorkshire racism scandal

A BBC diversity group has emailed all staff to express their disgust at the broadcaster’s ‘totally unforgivable’ decision to assist Michael Vaughan, despite being part of a group being sued by the ECB over of the racism scandal in Yorkshire.

BBC Sport’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Group (BAME) says in a strong open letter that while the former England captain – who strongly denies the allegation – is innocent until proven guilty, it must be “recognized how harmful, embarrassing and disturbing to many colleagues at BBC Sport, BBC Radio 5 Live and the wider BBC’.

They add that the deep feelings about the BBC’s decision are “unbearable, overwhelming and unbearable”.

A BBC diversity group has called it out at the broadcaster's decision to Michael Vaughan.  to support

A BBC diversity group has called it out at the broadcaster’s decision to Michael Vaughan. to support

Colleagues from all backgrounds reached out to share their disbelief and dismay, some moved to tears at the apparent lack of empathy, understanding and leadership about this. What support is there for colleagues who have been deeply affected by this, but who still have to work with Michael Vaughan?’

The broadcaster decided to assist 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 discrediting the game in connection with the scandal, and disciplinary hearings will not take place until September.

It is clear that he will not be asked about the allegations during the commentary. Vaughan was initially dropped indefinitely by the BBC in November over accusations of racism by Azeem Rafiq, who claimed he told a group of Muslim players in 2009 that there were ‘too many of you, we need to do something about it’.

Vaughan was taken off the air when the allegations became public and did not return until March.

He denies the allegations “completely and categorically.” He is one of seven ex-Cricketers from York charged by the ECB after an investigation into allegations of historical racism in Headingley.

“With Michael Vaughan involved in this scandal and now being charged by the ECB, it feels totally unforgivable that he should continue to represent BBC Sport,” the letter said.

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