England bowler Ollie Robinson faces backlash over his “stupid, silly and naive‘Posts on Twitter, but Steve Harmison says the humiliation he suffered in the past 24 hours’ is punishment enough’ for his past transgressions.
Robinson has apologized for a series of historic racist and sexist social media posts, which emerged during his Test debut on Wednesday.
The 27-year-old took 2-50 on day one of the first test against New Zealand at Lord’s, but his performance was subsequently marred by the offensive posts he posted in 2012 and 2013 – when he was 19 – have been revealed.
Robinson said in a statement: “On the biggest day of my career so far, I am embarrassed by the racist and sexist tweets I posted over eight years ago, which have now become public.
“I want it to be clear that I am not a racist and that I am not a sexist. I deeply regret my actions and am ashamed to make such remarks.
“I was thoughtless and irresponsible, and whatever my state of mind at the time, my actions were inexcusable. Since that time, I have matured as a person and fully regret tweets.
ECB Managing Director Tom Harrison strongly condemned the tweets and promised a full investigation.
Harrison said: “I don’t have the words to express how disappointed I am that an England player has chosen to write tweets of this nature, for as long as it may have been.
“Anyone reading these words, especially a woman or person of color, would take away an image of cricketers and cricketers which is totally unacceptable. We are better than that.
“We have a zero tolerance position towards any form of discrimination and there are rules in place to deal with behavior of this nature. We will initiate a full investigation as part of our disciplinary process. “
Not only did the tweets emerge on the day of Robinson’s Test debut, but they also came to light on the same day England and New Zealand shared a ‘moment of unity’, conceived of as taking a stand against the racism, religious intolerance, sexism, transphobia, homophobia, ableism and ageism.
Harrison added: “Our England men’s team, alongside other members of the ECB and our partners across the game, worked together today to create a moment of unity. Use today’s spotlight to reaffirm our commitment to advancing an anti-discrimination agenda.
“Our commitment to this effort remains unwavering, and the emergence of these comments from Ollie’s past reiterates the need for continued education and engagement on this issue.”
Harmison called the tweets “stupid, silly and naive,” but the winner of England Ashes said the embarrassment of it all turning out now was enough punishment.
He told talkSPORT Breakfast on Thursday: “He was sitting there and he looked embarrassed, he looked in tears. It was the best day of his life, he was making his debut in England.
“He was 18 and just starting a career in Yorkshire… but he has nowhere to go.
“It was naive, it was stupid, it was silly, it’s embarrassing for the kid now.
“I’m not going to defend him, but when you look at him he made a mistake and he apologized and I hope he can move on and I hope it doesn’t scare him too much, because it was a long time ago.
“It’s not excusing or defending the child, but you make mistakes, you say things that you can’t take back, and they can’t take them back.
“We’ve all done things that we’re not proud of in the past, I think it should be emphasized.
“That there is a punishment, I actually think the embarrassment of what has happened in the last 24 hours, for me is enough punishment.”