What did Ollie Robinson say? England cricket star’s historical racist tweets explained as he is suspended

The England cricketer’s Twitter posts were found and widely shared online on the first day of the opening Test against New Zealand

The tweets were found and widely shared online on the first day of the opening Test against New Zealand (Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

England cricketer Ollie Robinson has been suspended from international cricket pending an investigation into historical racist and sexist tweets.

The tweets were found and widely shared online on Wednesday 2 June - on the first day of the opening Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.

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Robinson, now 27, says he is “embarrassed” and “ashamed” of the posts he made in 2012 and 2013, when he was in his late teens (Photo: Twitter)

Robinson, 27, has now been dropped from the squad for the second Test – which begins on Thursday (10 June) at Edgbaston – and will leave the England camp and return to his county Sussex.

What did Ollie Robinson say?

Robinson issued an apology last week after historical tweets he sent which used racist and sexist language surfaced on the day he made his Test debut.

He said he was “embarrassed” and “ashamed” of the posts he made in 2012 and 2013, when he was in his late teens.

In one tweet, Robinson wrote: “Not going to lie, a lot of girls need to learn the art of class,” while another said: “My new Muslim friend is the bomb #wheeyyyyy”.

In a pre-prepared statement, Robinson apologised for the tweets, as he said: “On the biggest day of my career so far, I am embarrassed by the racist and sexist tweets that I posted over eight years ago, which have today become public.

“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 was thoughtless and irresponsible. I am sorry, and I have certainly learned my lesson.”

Robinson added at a press conference: “It was a pretty low point in my life (at the time) and I regret that massively. I didn’t know they (the tweets) were still there and I just want to apologise to everyone. I regret it hugely.

“I was thoughtless and irresponsible, and regardless of my state of mind at the time, my actions were inexcusable. Since that period, I have matured as a person and fully regret the tweets.

“I don’t want something that happened eight years ago to diminish the efforts of my team-mates and the ECB as they continue to build meaningful action with their comprehensive initiatives and efforts, which I fully endorse.

“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.”

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‘Any person reading those words, particularly a woman or person of colour, would take away an image of cricket and cricketers that is completely unacceptable’

England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison said the governing body will now conduct an investigation as part of its disciplinary process.

In a statement, Harrison said: “I do not have the words to express how disappointed I am that an England men’s player has chosen to write tweets of this nature, however long ago that might have been.

“Any person reading those words, particularly a woman or person of colour, would take away an image of cricket and cricketers that is completely unacceptable. We are better than this.

“We have a zero-tolerance stance to any form of discrimination and there are rules in place that handle conduct of this nature. We will initiate a full investigation as part of our disciplinary process.”