ECB to begin social media review following Ollie Robinson Twitter controversy; Robinson was not selected for England’s second Test against New Zealand, which started on Thursday; Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden called suspension “over the top”
Ollie Robinson has been suspended from all international cricket pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation following historical tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013
The England and Wales Cricket Board has opened the door to possible disciplinary sanctions after announcing a social media review “to address any historical issues” following the Ollie Robinson Twitter storm.
Robinson’s Test debut at Lord’s was marred by the emergence of racist and sexist tweets posted several years earlier and he was duly suspended pending an investigation.
The ECB is also investigating a second England cricketer for historical “offensive” social media posts.
It comes after cricket publication Wisden unearthed one such historical tweet but concealed the alleged England cricketer’s identity because he was under the age of 16 at the time.
Since then tweets by other England players have come to light.
- Ollie Robinson to miss Sussex’s opening Vitality Blast matchesEbony Rainford-Brent MBE: I feared backlash over racism stanceMichael Holding: I applaud Gareth Southgate’s England for taking a knee
The ECB board met on Wednesday and resolved to probe the matter further.
A statement read: “The board agreed to the executive’s recommendation for a social media review to address any historical issues, remind individuals of their personal responsibilities going forward, and help them learn lessons along the way.
Former England head coach Peter Moores says Ollie Robinson’s suspension for posting offensive tweets nine years ago highlights the need for more education in the game
“The board was clear that this process would not prevent further disciplinary action in the future, should that be required, under the applicable processes, but it is hoped that the game can emerge from this difficult period stronger and determined to be more inclusive and welcoming to all.
The nature of the review is said to be “collaborative” and will involve administrators, players, coaches and the Professional Cricketers’ Association.
Ian Watmore, chair of the ECB, restated the organisation’s commitments on diversity and inclusivity.
Michael Holding believes the ECB shouldn’t ‘come down too hard’ on Ollie Robinson if their investigation concludes his historic racist and sexist tweets were an isolated incident
He said: “Making cricket a game for everyone is central to the game’s ‘Inspiring Generations’ strategy. Celebrating our many brilliant role models in men’s, women’s and disability cricket is essential to that aim, and the right use of social media is a critical means for achieving it.
“As the national governing body, we must steer a path between helping individuals project an inclusive image, educating them on what is expected of them and allowing them the space to express themselves to the public. We must also investigate their actions and sanction them when they fall short.”