Ollie Robinson ‘apologises unreservedly’ for offensive tweets as England open investigation

·3-min read
<p>Ollie Robinson bowls for England at Lord’s</p> (Getty Images)

Ollie Robinson bowls for England at Lord’s

(Getty Images)

Ollie Robinson has “apologised unreservedly” for years-old “thoughtless and irresponsible” racist and homophobic tweets that emerged as he made his Test debut for England against New Zealand at Lord’s.

Robinson, 27, performed well on his debut, picking up the wickets of Tom Latham and Ross Taylor, but learned at the close of play that old tweets had resurfaced and gone viral.

The ECB said they would “initiate a full investigation as part of our disciplinary process”, with Chief Executive Tom Harrison issuing a statement.

It read: “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.”

Robinson also gave a statement, released in conjunction with the ECB: “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. 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 was thoughtless and irresponsible, and regardless of my state of mind at the time, my “actions were inexcusable. Since that period, I have matured as a person and fully regret the tweets.

“Today should be about my efforts on the field and the pride of making my Test debut for England, but my thoughtless behaviour in the past has tarnished this.” Robinson added that he had sought to educate himself and that he did not know the tweets were still on his account. He said that he had made them when he was “young and naive” and experiencing a “tough stage of my life”.

“Over the past few years, I have worked hard to turn my life around,” he said. I have considerably matured as an adult. The work and education I have gained personally from the PCA, my county Sussex and the England Cricket Team have helped me to come to terms and gain a deep understanding of being a responsible professional cricketer.

“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.

“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.

“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.”

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