The English Cricket Board should not have suspended Ollie Robinson for a series offensive tweets sent when he was a teenager, according to Boris Johnson and culture and sports secretary Oliver Dowden
Dowden said today that Robinson’s tweets were “offensive and wrong”, but that the ECB “has gone over the top by suspending him” as he was just a teenager when he made the comments.
A Number 10 spokesperson said Johnson was “supportive of the comments from Oliver Dowden” and that “these were comments made more than a decade ago written by someone as a teenager”.
Robinson, who made his test debut for England last week, was suspended indefinitely by English cricket’s ruling body for sending a series of racist and sexist tweets in 2012 and 2013.
The tweets were made public during the test against New Zealand last week and Robinson immediately apologised “unreservedly” for his comments.
Dowden joined growing calls to have the suspension reversed this morning.
“Ollie Robinson’s tweets were offensive and wrong,” Dowden said.
“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.”
England captain Joe Root said that Robinson’s tweets were “not acceptable within our game”.
“We all know that. He addressed the dressing room straight away,” he said.
“He obviously spoke to you guys and other media outlets straight away, fronted up to it. He showed a lot of remorse from that point onwards. You can see it’s very genuine from how he’s been around the group and the team.”