Ollie Robinson’s brief career in England could be over as he faces an investigation into racist and sexist tweets he has posted in the past.
Robinson made his Test debut last week in England’s New Zealand draw at Lord’s.
He took 7 for 101 in the game but has now left the English side with his international future in disarray.
The 27-year-old was suspended after posts from 2012 and 2013 resurfaced on his debut.
The pace-maker apologized and said he was “embarrassed and ashamed” and is now at the center of a full review by the ECB.
What did Ollie Robinson say in his tweet?
Robinson posted a series of tweets as a teenager, which came to light on his first day as an England player on Wednesday, June 2.
In 2012 Robinson tweeted using the n-word and another post said, “My new Muslim friend is the bomb.”
There were also sexist comments about “women who play video games actually tend to have more sex.”
The rediscovery of tweets marred his England debut and left a dark shadow on Joe Root’s side.
The historic tweets could not have been more embarrassing for England as they were discovered on a day before the game, players were having a “moment of unity”.
This involved wearing T-shirts against all forms of discrimination, including racism and sexism.
What was said?
Robinson faces disciplinary action after being forced to apologize.
He said he did not realize the messages were still on his calendar, but later insisted he was not “racist or sexist”.
He said: “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 I am ashamed to make such comments.
“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.
“Today should be about my efforts on the pitch and the pride in making my test debut for England, but my thoughtless behavior in the past has tarnished that.
“Over the past few years, I have worked hard to change my life. I have matured considerably as an adult.
“The work and education that I have personally gained from the PCA, my county of Sussex and the England cricket team have helped me come to terms with myself and gain a deep understanding of being a responsible professional cricketer.
“I would like to apologize wholeheartedly to everyone I have offended, my teammates and the game as a whole during what has been a day of action and awareness to fight discrimination in our sport. .
“I don’t want something that happened eight years ago to diminish the efforts of my teammates and the ECB as they continue to build meaningful action with their comprehensive initiatives and efforts, which I endorse and fully support.
“I will continue to educate myself, seek guidance and work with the support network available to me to learn more about how to improve in this area. I’m sorry and I certainly learned my lesson today.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the ECB had “exaggerated” by suspending Robinson and asked them to “think it over”.
Dowden said the tweets were “offensive and false” but “also ten years old and written by a teenager.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson backed Dowden’s comments.
A spokesperson for Mr Johnson said: “The PM supports Oliver Dowden’s comments. As Dowden explained, they were comments made over a decade ago, written by someone when he was a teenager and for which he rightly apologized.
Robinson, who was sacked by Yorkshire in 2014 for “unprofessional conduct”, left England on Sunday and will not play the second test against New Zealand at Edgbaston on Thursday 19 June.
England and Wales Cricket Council General Manager Tom Harrison has warned that there is a “zero tolerance” policy towards such behavior.
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 be opening a full investigation as part of our disciplinary process. “
England captain Root insisted Robinson had learned a “very hard lesson” and vowed England would continue to try to make cricket as inclusive as possible.
He said: “Ollie learned a very hard lesson. He is facing the outside world and facing us like a lodge. He has a lot of remorse which you can tell is genuine and has dealt with a wide range of emotions.
“As a team, we must continue to strive to be better and to make the game as inclusive and diverse as possible.
“This team is committed to doing it. We’re not saying we’re perfect, but there are areas we want to know more about and hope we can make a real difference.
“On the pitch, Ollie has made an exceptional debut. He contributed well with the stick, his performances with the ball were excellent. He has shown high levels of skill and certainly has the game that can be successful in trial cricket.
“But what happened off the field is not acceptable in our game. We have to try to improve the environment and make everyone feel comfortable playing a wonderful sport.
“I couldn’t believe the tweets, but the most important thing is that Ollie is part of that locker room and we had to support him. We had to give him the opportunity to learn and understand that he had to do better.