Ollie Robinson found himself in hot water on his Test debut as his Tweets from eight years ago, both racist and sexist in nature, resurfaced across social media. The 27-year-old issued a statement expressing deep regret for his past action and said that he'd matured as a person since but a disciplinary process will be initiated by the ECB for his gross indiscretion.
“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,” Robinson said in a statement released by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
“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.”
Incidentally, the tweets resurfaced on Twitter on the same day as Test debutant Robinson and his teammates sported black ‘anti-discrimination' tshirts before the start of the New Zealand Test at Lord's. Robinson has been a subject of controversy in the past and even had his Sussex contract terminated in 2014 because of a “number of unprofessional actions.”
“Over the past few years, I have worked hard to turn my life around. I have considerably matured as an adult,” he wrote in his statement. “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.”
Meanwhile, Tom Harrison, the England and Wales Cricket Board chief, said, “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.
“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. 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.