Joe Root Committed To Make Positive Change Despite Ollie Robinson Controversy
England skipper Joe Root (Photo | PTI)
England skipper Joe Root (Photo | PTI)
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Joe Root Committed To Make Positive Change Despite Ollie Robinson Controversy

Joe Root, England skipper has said his side England must “face up to things” after a number of offensive historical tweets from players came to light that threatens to overshadow their on-field commitment to making cricket an inclusive game. England will again wear T-shirts with anti-discrimination slogans ahead of the start of the second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston on Thursday.

Joe Root’s team made a collective statement ahead of last week’s drawn first Test at Lord’s by taking the field before play on the first day wearing black tops carrying the message “Cricket is a game for everyone”. They also stood with their opponents in a “moment of unity” to show their shared values but those gestures were overshadowed by the emergence of racist and sexist tweets posted several years earlier by England debutant Ollie Robinson.

Ollie Robinson has apologized for offensive tweets posted as a teenager PA Images via Getty Images
Ollie Robinson has apologized for offensive tweets posted as a teenager PA Images via Getty Images

Joe Root: England Have To Face Up To Things And Commit To Make A Positive Change By Getting Rid Of Discrimination

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has suspended the seamer pending an investigation and resolved to look into potentially offensive material posted by other members of the national side. Joe Root said England would again make a public plea to rid cricket of discrimination.

“Yes, we will,” he said during his press conference on Wednesday. “We have committed to making a positive change in our sport. That doesn’t change just because of what’s happened. We have to face up to things.”

Joe Root
Joe Root
Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Sussex quick Ollie Robinson made an impressive on-field England debut in the drawn first Test at Lord’s concluded Sunday. But his efforts with bat and ball were overshadowed by the re-emergence of racist and sexist social media messages the 27-year-old had posted as a teenager in 2012 and 2013.

The pacer Ollie Robinson led England’s attack with 4-75 in the first innings at Lord’s and followed up with 3-26 in the second while in between making a useful 42 with the bat as England fought hard to earn a draw in the 1st Lord’s Test against New Zealand.

Joe Root Admits It’s Been An Uncomfortable Week For Everyone

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday backed his culture and sports secretary, who said that the ECB had gone “over the top” in suspending the 27-year-old Ollie Robinson.

“It’s been an uncomfortable week for everyone,” said Joe Root. “We want to try and make positive change in our sport. We want to make it a better place. Of course, there have been some uncomfortable things come to light over the past week and we have to own that and accept that.

“As a team, we will continue to talk about it because it’s important but as professionals we know we have a job to do this week.”

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

The ECB seems to have opened Pandora’s box ever since they started a crackdown on its players for posting offensive material online. Ollie Robinson, who had a fine debut against New Zealand recently, was the first to be at the receiving end, after he was suspended indefinitely, for posting offensive tweets.

After his comments went viral, the youngster has apologized for his remarks. Since then, in a matter of few days, new names have surfaced, who had put such offensive material online. Veteran pacer James Anderson finds himself at the center of a controversy as his decade-old tweet directed towards Stuart Broad is in the news.

The duo of limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan and his deputy Jos Buttler is allegedly under investigation from the ECB, for mocking the Indians and their elocution of English.