England bowler Ollie Robinson has “unreservedly apologised” after admitting to posting “racist and sexist” comments on social media as a teenager, back in 2012-13. The tweets were directed at Muslims, suggesting the community is linked with terrorism, and also derogatory remarks about women from Asian heritage.
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“On the biggest day of my career so far, I am embarrassed by the racist and sexist tweets that I posted over eight years ago, which have today become public,” Robinson said in a statement. “I want to make it clear that I’m not racist and I’m not sexist.
“I deeply regret my actions, and I am ashamed of making such remarks. I would like to unreservedly apologise to anyone I have offended, my teammates and the game as a whole in what has been a day of action and awareness in combatting discrimination from our sport.”
This is stark contrast to what the English board preaches. Earlier, they had unveiled their training kit which bears slogans like ‘cricket is a game for everyone’ on the front and denouncing racism, sexism and religious intolerance on the back.
“I don’t want something that happened eight years ago to diminish the efforts of my teammates and the ECB as they continue to build meaningful action with their comprehensive initiatives and efforts, which I fully endorse and support,” Robinson continued.
“I will continue to educate myself, look for advice and work with the support network that is available to me to learn more about getting better in this area. I am sorry, and I have certainly learned my lesson today.”
Even though the comment were made years ago, Robinson could still face some disciplinary action. This is what Tom Harrison had to say: “I do not have the words to express how disappointed I am that an England Men’s player has chosen to write tweets of this nature, however long ago that might have been.”
“Any person reading those words, particularly a woman or person of colour, would take away an image of cricket and cricketers that is completely unacceptable. We are better than this.
“We have a zero-tolerance stance to any form of discrimination and there are rules in place that handle conduct of this nature. We will initiate a full investigation as part of our disciplinary process.
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“Our England Men’s Team, alongside others from the ECB and our partners across the game, worked together today to create a moment of unity. Using today’s spotlight to reaffirm our commitment to driving forward an anti-discrimination agenda. Our commitment to that effort remains unwavering, and the emergence of these comments from Ollie’s past reiterates the need for ongoing education and engagement on this issue.”
Meanwhile, Robinson’s current club Sussex also issued a statement. “We are pleased that Ollie has apologised unreservedly and taken responsibility for a significant mistake that he made as a teenager,” the statement said. “His age does not excuse the content of these tweets in any way and he will now suffer the consequences of his actions.
“We know he recognises the severity of the situation and that he is devastated that what should have been a proud day has been overshadowed in this manner. We know also that Ollie will learn some very important lessons from this experience. We will be here to offer any support Ollie needs during that process.”
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