James Anderson says more education needed after Ollie Robinson tweet storm

·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

James Anderson says even the youngest members of society need to know not to post offensive tweets, as English cricket grapples with a social media storm.

Last Wednesday, on the first day of his Test career, historic racist and sexist tweets from England bowler Ollie Robinson emerged.

Robinson, who apologised privately to his team-mates and publicly, made a strong debut against New Zealand at Lord’s, taking seven wickets and scoring 42, but has since been stood down pending an ECB investigation.

Anderson said there was clear “remorse” in the player’s apology.

“I think he’s definitely changed as a person and he’ll definitely improve from this as well, learn from these mistakes,” he said.

Robinson cannot play for England until further notice (he will miss the Second Test at Edgbaston), but is available to play for Sussex in the Vitality Blast this week, though they may decide to keep him out of the line of fire.

 (PA)
(PA)

Yesterday, it emerged that a second “current England men’s player” had posted offensive tweets some years ago, although wisden.com — who published the tweets — chose not to name the sender, because he was under the age of 16 at the time. Robinson, by contrast, was an adult when he posted his.

The player’s age also leaves the ECB in a difficult position as they investigate the matter. An ECB spokesperson told Wisden: “It has been brought to our attention that an England player has posted historic offensive material on their social media account. We are looking into it and will make a further comment in due course.”

Anderson said education on these issues must be thorough enough that even schoolchildren know not to hold these views.

“I remember being that age and you do make mistakes,” he said. “You’re young and inexperienced. It’s just a case of trying to make sure that, even at that age, we send a message that this is unacceptable language to use.

“It doesn’t matter how old you are, you can never know too much. It’s really important we keep doing this [education], keep buying into it, because it’s hugely important our game is as inclusive as possible.”

When asked if there was now an atmosphere of anxiety around previous social media in the group, Anderson said: “Yeah, I guess. If there are any tweets from years ago, we do have to look at that and learn from this and be better in the future, try and make sure we know it’s unacceptable to use these sorts of phrases and language.”

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