The squad has unanimously accepted Ollie Robinson’s apologies for tweeting racist and sexist remarks as a teenager nine years ago, according to veteran England pacer James Anderson, and the suspended speedster has the squad’s entire backing.
Robinson, who had an outstanding Test debut against New Zealand at Lord’s, has been suspended by the country’s governing body for some of his inflammatory tweets from 2012-13, for which he has previously issued an unqualified public apology.
During an interview with the British press, Anderson put his support for Robinson. When asked if Robinson’s apology had been accepted by the squad or whether any players were still concerned, he answered, “No, I think it’s been accepted. He came in front of the group and apologized, and you could see how real and unhappy he was, and I think as a group we recognize that he is a different person today. He’s matured and grown a lot since then, and he has the team’s complete support.”
The political establishment in the United Kingdom also chimed in on the matter, encouraging the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to rethink its decision to punish the fast bowler for something he did as a teenager years ago.
The tweets reappeared on Wednesday, the first day of Robinson’s Test debut against New Zealand at Lord’s. Anderson was also questioned on the team’s reaction to the player’s punishment.
If Anderson plays in the second Test against New Zealand, he would become England’s most capped Test player, overtaking former run-machine Alastair Cook.
At the end of the first day of play at Lord’s, Robinson, 27, apologized and claimed he was going through a terrible time in his life when he wrote the tweets as an 18-year-old.
“I want to make it clear that I’m not racist and I’m not sexist,” Robinson had said. “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,” he added.
However, his apology was insufficient, and the ECB suspended him following the conclusion of the first Test while conducting a disciplinary inquiry. As a result, Robinson will be unavailable for the second Test, which begins on Thursday at Edgbaston.