Ollie Robinson’s offensive tweets prove English cricket still has much to learn | Cricket


The clouds blew over Lord’s halfway via the afternoon, when Ollie Robinson was deep into his second spell. He had bowled effectively, had received his first Test wicket that morning when he made Tom Latham play on, and was working away on his second, the good Ross Taylor, whom he quickly dismissed leg earlier than wicket. It all appeared so candy however away from the center it was already turning bitter. There was no approach for Robinson to comprehend it then however round that very same time screengrabs began circulating on social media, displaying a sequence of offensive ‘jokes’ Robinson had Tweeted between 2012 and 2014, some racist, some sexist, all excruciating.

Soon sufficient the discuss was not about how effectively Robinson was bowling now however the idiotic feedback he made 9 years in the past, when he was in his late teenagers. Watching him play for the remainder of the day, it was potential to really feel sympathy and scorn for him all on the similar time. The remarks have been grotesque however, on condition that the fallout overshadowed one of the best day of his younger profession, he paid a worth for making them. He apologised at size after stumps, stated he was embarrassed and ashamed by the feedback, that he regretted making them, however that “I’m not racist and I’m not sexist”.

Of course, it’s not simply in regards to the tweets. Only a couple of hours earlier Robinson and the remainder of England group had gathered in a line-out by the boundary in entrance of the pavilion in the beginning of play. They have been wearing black T-shirts with ‘Cricket is a Game for Everyone’ written on the entrance and one in every of seven totally different slogans on the again, ‘We Stand Together Against … Racism, Religious Intolerance, Sexism, Transphobia, Homophobia, Ableism, Ageism’. It was pitched as a “moment of unity”, and got here throughout as a response to the criticism they received for the velocity they determined to quit taking a knee after their Test sequence in opposition to West Indies completed final 12 months.


“We know the start of last summer unearthed some ugly truths in society and in our sport,” Joe Root stated this week, when he was explaining the considering behind it. Now, in the beginning of this summer season, a younger sports activities media pupil on social media had unearthed a couple of extra by digging via Robinson’s Twitter feed. His tweets included ‘jokes’ about Muslims, (one with the hashtag #racist hooked up). At the time he despatched them he was on the books at Yorkshire, the place he was enjoying alongside Azeem Rafiq, who has repeatedly spoken out in regards to the racism he skilled on the membership. We are still ready to right here the findings of the “independent inquiry” into what went on. Rafiq has stated he has already misplaced religion within the course of.

Racist tweets that got here from Ollie Robinson’s Twitter account. Photograph: Twitter

Robinson has spoken about how immature he was in these days and stated once more in his apology that “since that period I have matured as a person”.

Yorkshire sacked him in the summertime of 2014 due to his unprofessional perspective. “We played a seconds game in Liverpool,” Robinson stated in a recent interview with the BBC.

“Straight away I got into the car to go to Kent, a five- or six-hour drive. I stayed there for a night, saw my mates the next day, then left Kent at 1am to get to training at 9am. It was an unsustainable lifestyle that I was trying to live. At first they just thought I was a really bad timekeeper but, as it went on, they realised what I was doing.” It feels like he was a child who still had a number of rising up to do. That doesn’t excuse what he wrote however does, one hopes, assist clarify it.

It comes the day after Robinson’s rival for the final fast-bowling spot within the group this week, Craig Overton, spoke in regards to the accusation that he had racially abused Ashar Zaidi in a match between Somerset and Sussex in 2015. The umpire in that match, Alex Wharf, reported that Overton had informed Zaidi to “go back to your own fucking country”. The batsman on the non-striker’s finish, Michael Yardy, additionally heard the comment. Overton was banned for 2 matches for utilizing “obscene, offensive, or insulting language” however denied making the remark. And in an interview with Taha Hashim on wisden.com this week, he stated once more “I don’t believe I said it”.

“I don’t believe that I’m that sort of character. We’ve had Azhar Ali in our changing room and I’m the first one to go up and speak to him in the changing room and have a chat with him. I’m not that sort of person,” Overton stated. “We have chats about racism every year and I’m making sure I’m learning as much as possible because we can all learn more about what’s happened in the past and what we can do in the future.” Judging him on his phrases in that interview alone, apparently he has some extra studying to do.

Given that the tradition of the sport on this nation is one the place two of our brightest younger gamers have put themselves in these positions, perhaps the remainder of us do, too.

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