England cricketer Ollie Robinson has been suspended from all international cricket after old tweets where he made racist, sexist and ableist jokes resurfaced. The tweets resurfaced shortly after he made his England debut on June 2.
Robinson, who made his England debut in the first Test against New Zealand last week, will remain suspended pending the report of a disciplinary investigation on his tweets.
Robinson finished the first Test with a seven-wicket haul which ended in a draw.
What did Robinson joke about in his tweets?
The 27-year-old fast bowler tweeted racist, sexist and ableist jokes in 2012 and 2013.
Robinson used the N-word, used an ableist term, made a joke linking Muslims to terrorist attacks, joked about the appearance of east Asian people, made sexist comments about women and joked about footballer Gary Speed and missing child Madeleine McCann.
Speed, a beloved Welsh footballer, died by suicide in 2011 while three-year-old McCann's disappearance while on a family holiday in Portugal in 2007 has been one of the most followed missing person cases in Europe.Robinson admitted to posting the tweets and apologised for them in a statement.
"I want to make it clear that I'm not racist and I'm not sexist. I deeply regret my actions, and I am ashamed of making such remarks. 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," Robinson said.
"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 fully endorse and support," Robinson added.
"I will continue to educate myself, look for advice and work with the support network that is available to me to learn more about getting better in this area. I am sorry, and I have certainly learned my lesson today," he said.
How have others reacted?
Robinson's England captain Joe Root said the tweets were not acceptable and that the incident is a lesson for everyone in cricket.
"Ollie had has made a huge mistake. He fronted up to the dressing room and the rest of the world, and he's very remorseful," Root told BBC.
"More has to be done, that continued education and learning about how to behave in society and within our sport. We've started doing a lot of good work as a team and we'll continue to do that. We want to make the game as inclusive and diverse as we possibly can and we'll continue to keep looking at finding ways to make that possible," he added.
Former England captain Michael Vaughan blamed ECB for not doing due diligence before selecting Robinson for the first Test against New Zealand.
"A few weeks ago, surely England would have known that Ollie Robinson was in their thoughts. You have to go through everything. These days on Twitter, social media it's all there for everyone to see. You can't suddenly – why didn't they delete it- that's irrelevant. He tweeted what he had tweeted in 2012. Yes, he was 18 but I do find that staggering that the ECB with everything, the resources that they have in their operation, they don't go through everything about every player that you pick just to make sure you have got everything covered," Vaughan told the BBC.
England batting coach Graham Thorpe said that the ECB would start reviewing social media history of players before they are selected for national teams.
"It's clearly something that might need to be looked at so that a day like yesterday doesn't happen," Thorpe told the BBC.
While almost everyone has condemned Robinson's tweet, the ECB's decision to suspend him and launching an investigation has not found many supporters.
UK's Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden criticised the ECB for their "over the top" reaction to Robinson's tweet.