Former MLB player claims Washington Nationals teammate blamed him for racism

Former Pakistani cricketer Azeem Rafiq (right) discusses a racial harassment complaint he filed with D.C. police against former Washington Nationals teammate Rich Harden (left) on Thursday. Rafiq also spoke about the psychological impacts of racial harassment and bullying with the Washington Post’s Mike Wise.

Rafiq told the Washington Post’s Mike Wise that he was accused of fixing to have Harden toss the ball over the team picnic table so Rafiq could win an $80,000 prize.

“You bunch sit over there near the toilets,” he told the Washington Post during an interview.

Rafiq said in a statement to the Post that Harden kept calling him racial names and bashed his clothes and car.

“I could play golf at the National Golf Course,” Rafiq said. “It was humiliating.”

Rafiq claims Harden regularly called him the n-word and said things like, “Get down on your knees.”

Harden denied any wrongdoing.

“We have yet to hear details of any such incident and we have therefore taken the matter seriously and are conducting our own investigation to determine the facts,” the team said in a statement.

On Sunday night, the Nationals said in a statement to the Washington Post that they had apologized to Rafiq, who immediately requested a meeting on the matter, and that Rafiq had agreed to the team’s offer of counseling. The statement also said:

Rafiq told the Post that Harden had not worked out with the team since the incident because he was not allowed to leave the team bus.

“He couldn’t be with us,” Rafiq said. “And we were playing in the D.C. heat. So he had to ask to go to the hospital.”

Rafiq said he left D.C. in February and now lives in Illinois.

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