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Cricketer Ollie Robinson apologises for racist and sexist tweets
3 June 2021, 07:05
England cricketer Ollie Robinson has apologised for racist and sexist tweets posted when he was a teenager.
The bowler said he was "embarrassed" and "ashamed" by the historical tweets, after they surfaced on the day he made his Test debut against New Zealand at Lord's.
Robinson, 27, said in a statement: "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."
The tweets came to light on the same day as England and New Zealand shared a 'Moment of Unity' as they took a stand against racism, religious intolerance, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism and ageism.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison said he did “not have the words to express how disappointed” he was, and promised an investigation would be opened as part of a disciplinary process.
"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,” said Mr Harrison.
"We have a zero-tolerance stance to any form of discrimination and there are rules in place that handle conduct of this nature… 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.
Mr Harrison said they were “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."
Mr Harrison insisted, “We are better than this.”
Robinson's county Sussex offered their support to the bowler while criticising the tweets he sent when he was 19, saying they were “beyond disappointed” at the “wholly unacceptable” tweets.
"We are pleased that Ollie has apologised unreservedly and taken responsibility for a significant mistake that he made as a teenager.
“His age does not excuse the content of these tweets in any way and he will now suffer the consequences of his actions.
"In the years since the tweets were posted, Ollie has matured hugely.
“The Ollie Robinson we know at Sussex is very different from the young man that sent these tweets,” the statement concluded, saying that the “devastated” Mr Robinson needed to “learn some very important lessons".
“We will be here to offer any support Ollie needs during that process.”