Dan Wootton: Cancel culture has destroyed the concept of innocent until proven guilty

We must all stand up to this cancel culture madness because it is beginning to destroy innocent people

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What happened to the concept of employers sticking by their staff UNTIL someone is PROVEN guilty of wrongdoing?

The cancel culture sweeping the west has destroyed that very basic concept – especially at painfully politically correct organisations like the BBC.

Today the Beeb axed Michael Vaughan from its coverage of the Ashes after he was accused of making a racist comment over a decade ago. They have already yanked him from his role on BBC Five Live.

Now you probably know that Vaughan has been accused of saying to four players of Asian heritage during a 2009 T20 match between Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire: “There are too many of you lot. We need to do something about it.”

His ex-teammate Azeem Rafiq made the allegation, which he repeated at an emotional select committee appearance.

Two players back up his recollection – Adil Rashid and Rana Naved-ul-Hasan.

However, another player, Ajmal Shahzad, says he doesn’t remember Vaughan making the comments.

And Vaughan himself strong denies them, saying in a statement…

“I categorically deny saying the words attributed to me by Azeem Rafiq and want to re-state this publicly because the 'you lot' comment simply never happened.

" It is extremely upsetting that this completely false accusation has been made against me by a former team-mate, apparently supported by two other players.

“I have been in contact with the six other players from that team and not one of them has any recollection of the remark being made.”

Footage on the day shows Vaughan shaking hands and laughing with all four teammates.

But, regardless of all that, the quick-to-cancel BBC announced today…

“While he is involved in a significant story in cricket, for editorial reasons we do not believe that it would be appropriate for Michael Vaughan to have a role in our Ashes team or wider coverage of the sport at the moment.

“We require our contributors to talk about relevant topics and his involvement in the Yorkshire story represents a conflict of interest.”

So Vaughan has lost a major job – and, as a result, his reputation for the moment at least – thanks to the BBC reacting to a disputed claim not backed up with any evidence.

There are no receipts here!

In fact, the only proof of racism we have involving anyone in the group is Azeem Rafiq himself who made historic anti-Semitic smears on social media at around the same time.

Following his testimony, it emerged he had posted the racist comments towards Derbyshire player Atif Sheikh who he accused of not paying a bill for dinner because “he is a Jew”.

In now-deleted comments on Facebook – which Rafiq has admitted to writing and apologised for – he wrote…

“Hahaha he is a Jew. Probs go after my 2nds again.”

“How wrong is that? Only Jews do that sort of s***.”

Rafiq’s own racist comments do not undermine his harrowing testimony and, of course, any racism in cricket must be stamped out.

But it shows the clear and present danger of making judgements on folk for comments they are purported to have made over a decade ago relying on someone proven to have made anti-Semitic slurs himself.

Shame on the BBC for, as ever, giving into the cancel culture mob, rather than backing a star employee like Michael Vaughan until any alleged wrongdoing is categorically proven.

We must all stand up to this cancel culture madness because it is beginning to destroy innocent people.