Ashamed England cricket star Ollie Robinson faces a hefty fine and a possible BAN after his historic racist and sexist tweets emerge on his Test debut as ECB chief Tom Harrison says a ‘full investigation’ will be launched
- Historic racist and sexist tweets from Ollie Robinson’s account emerged
- One read: ‘Not going to lie, a lot of girls need to learn the art of class’
- Robinson admitted he is ‘ashamed’ and ‘deeply regrets’ his comments
- The England bowler faces a hefty fine and could possibly get a suspension
Furious England cricket boss Tom Harrison promised a ‘full investigation’ after historic racist and sexist tweets by debutant fast bowler Ollie Robinson emerged on the opening day of the Test series against New Zealand.
Robinson, who faces a hefty fine and possibly a ban, was left to ‘unreservedly apologise’ after the nine-year-old tweets were dug up by another user of the social-media platform, only hours after he and his team-mates had lined up for a ‘moment of unity’ aimed at tackling all forms of discrimination.
Reiterating the ECB’s ‘zero-tolerance stance to any form of discrimination’, chief executive Harrison said in a statement: ‘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.
Ollie Robinson issued an apology after a number of racist and sexist tweets were unearthed
England cricket boss Tom Harrison insisted an investigation will be launched while Robinson now faces a hefty fine and a possible ban
‘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 will initiate a full investigation as part of our disciplinary process.’
An ashen-faced Robinson, who took two wickets as New Zealand closed the first day at Lord’s on 246 for three, said: ‘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.’
England wore Anti-Discrimination T-shirts before the start of Wednesday’s first Test match
The England bowler was making a successful start to his Test career against New Zealand
Sportsmail columnist Nasser Hussain added: ‘These messages were sent out by Robinson as an 18-year-old, but what was said back then is not acceptable. I’ve always said that if you’re in the limelight you should treat social media as if it were a press conference. Once you say these things, they are online and they are there forever.
‘You can’t wear T-shirts criticising online hate and abuse and then come out with that sort of stuff, whether you’re 18 or not.’
But Hussain also called for balance: ‘Without in any way condoning it, we are a cruel society if we can’t forgive someone who made a mistake at a difficult time in his life. As Robinson said, he is looking to learn from those mistakes, and I hope he does, because they were unacceptable.’
Robinson suggested he wrote the tweets after being sacked by Yorkshire, but the timeline on Twitter suggests he wrote them in 2012, almost a year before he played his first game for the county. His fate is now in the hands of the ECB.
Robinson took the wicket of Ross Taylor (lbw) to keep up his momentum at Lord’s