The last few days have been nothing short of a nightmare for Ollie Robinson with his ‘racist and sexist’ tweets resurfacing on social media and proving to be a detriment just as his international career looked set for lift off.
The England player was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) from all international cricket on June 7 and faces disciplinary investigation for tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013 as a teenager.
The 27-year old took seven wickets on his Lord’s debut and scored a fighting 42 in the first innings to prevent the Kiwis from enforcing a follow-on.
However, instead of basking in the memories of his impressive and impactful debut for England, Robinson finds himself immersed in a controversy that threatens to ruin his career. He has been asked to leave the England camp and return to his country, Sussex.
Robinson has since apologised profusely for his immature behaviour which dates back to almost a decade. Players, commentators, and people from outside the cricketing world have come forward to share their views and show their support for Robinson.
Indian all-rounder Ravinchandran Ashwin tweeted he felt genuinely sorry for the England player and also said how social media can have an impact on oneself.
I can understand the negative sentiments towards what #OllieRobinson did years ago, but I do feel genuinely sorry for him being suspended after an impressive start to his test career. This suspension is a strong indication of what the future holds in this social media Gen.— Mask up and take your vaccine🙏🙏🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) June 7, 2021
Harsha Bhogle also felt there was a need for investigation with a larger picture in sight, referring to the surroundings that can mould such opinions.
By the way, this isn't about Robinson as much as it is about the atmosphere prevailing in the environment he was in. He has apologised, let us look at him as a cricketer now. https://t.co/66LIpUxTm4— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) June 3, 2021
I think the ECB have dealt with the Ollie Robinson situation in a fair way .. many will disagree .. but hearing some say he should never play again is utterly ridiculous .. he will play against India & should 👍— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) June 8, 2021
The sympathy and support wasn’t just confined to the sporting fraternity though. UK’s Culture Minister Oliver Dowden has condemned the punishment terming it as ‘over the top’.
Ollie Robinson’s tweets were offensive and wrong.— Oliver Dowden (@OliverDowden) June 7, 2021
They are also a decade old and written by a teenager. The teenager is now a man and has rightly apologised. The ECB has gone over the top by suspending him and should think again.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also offered his support to Robinson. A spokesman for Mr Johnson said, “The PM is supportive of Oliver Dowden’s comments. As Dowden set out, these were comments made more than a decade ago written by someone as a teenager and for which they’ve rightly apologised.”
Incredibly harsh in my opinion to ban Ollie Robinson from all international cricket pending an investigation. Presumably this means all mistakes we all made as teenagers before we had responsibility of a professional contract counts against us all for ever more...— Paul Newman 🌈 (@Paul_NewmanDM) June 6, 2021
Former UK Member of Parliament George Freeman also took to social media to voice his concerns, opposing Robinson’s suspension.
Seriously? Posting inappropriate tweets when a teenager - for which he’s apologised - is now a disqualifying crime for playing cricket for your country?— George Freeman MP (@GeorgeFreemanMP) June 6, 2021
Featured photo: Adrian Dennis / AFP