Ollie Robinson Suspension Row: International Cricketer Come Out In Support
Ever wonder, how will you welcome a new player in International Cricket who took 7-wickets and scored decent runs? With an international suspension. That is exactly what has happened in the Ollie Robinson Suspension row.
Who Is Ollie Robinson & Why Is He Slapped With Suspension?
Oliver Edward Robinson, popularly known as Ollie Robinson, is a professional cricket player from England. He plays for Sussex and has recently made his international test debut in the on-going England – New Zealand test series.
Though he took 7-wickets (both innings combined) and had a decent batting display, Ollie is suspended from International Cricket. ECB took the decision as cricketer’s nine-year old racist and sexist tweets came to light during the first test.
The Screenshot That Went Viral
In a series of tweets from 2012, Ollie Robinson had said, “My new Muslim friend is the bomb”. In another: “I wonder if Asian people put smileys like this ¦) #racist”, while a third tweet bantered: “Guy next to me on the train definitely has Ebola.”
Ironically England team including Robinson participated in Moment of Unity ahead of Day-1 to support eliminating intolerance in all forms. On one hand they wore t-shirts opposing racism, sexism and religious intolerance; on the other hand, the screenshots went viral. The timing seems to be the catalyst in ECBs prompt action.
ECBs Stand On The Controversy
ECB, while suspending Robinson, stated to launch a detailed enquiry into the matter. ECB Chief Executive Officer Tom Harrison voiced displeasure over the controversial tweets by the cricketer. Several former English cricketers seems unimpressed with the board’s due diligence mechanism.
Mixed Response from Fraternity
Former English Captain Michael Vaughan minced no words while lambasting ECB for its incompetence and failure of robust background check. Another former English captain & commentator, Nasser Hussain said,
“…if you are going to wear T-shirts about online hate and online abuse and sexism and racism, then you can’t be doing this; it’s just not good enough, it’s just not on.”
Ollie Robinson has found huge support from current international players that include R Ashwin & present England Captain Joe Root. Joe Root, while expressing his displeasure said,
“I could not believe it personally, I did not really know how to take it on the surface but the most important thing is Ollie is part of this dressing room and we have to support him. We will try everything we could, we have to try everything, we have to give him the opportunity to learn and to understand it and he has to do betters.”
R Ashwin too tweeted in support of the suspended player and said,
“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.”
UK PM Boris Johnson Comes In Support of Robinson
After the controversy erupted on social media with Ollie’s suspension in a haste, UK PM Boris Johnson has come in his support. A spokesman for the Prime Minister analyzed the tweet made by Oliver Robinson. The spokesman agreed that Robinson was a teenager back then and he had duly apologized.
Another official of the UK government, Oliver Dowden tweeted in support of Robinson,
“Ollie Robinson’s tweets were offensive and wrong. They are also a decade old and written by a teenager. The teenager is now a man and has rightly apologized. The ECB has gone over the top by suspending him and should think again.”
It will be interesting to see ECBs next move on the issue with growing support for cricketer in the Ollie Robinson suspension row. While offbeat agrees racist, sexist, religious intolerance needs be addressed appropriately, it certainly can’t be addressed in an intolerant manner.
In pursuit of speaking my mind out – chose to write blogs on interesting topics to present my perspective.