Ollie Robinson takes ‘short break’ from cricket in wake of Twitter storm

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Ollie Robinson is taking a short break from cricket after his county, Sussex, described the tweets leading to his suspension by England as ‘completely unacceptable’.

Sussex insisted Robinson maintain the support of all his county teammates, saying they would keep an eye on his mental health as he started on the sidelines.

The club added that he would be welcomed back ‘when he is ready to return’.

Ollie Robinson takes 'short break' from cricket after Twitter controversy that overshadowed his England test debut last week

Ollie Robinson takes ‘short break’ from cricket after Twitter controversy that overshadowed his England test debut last week

Robinson (left) apologized privately to his teammates and publicly after the tweets appeared

Robinson (left) apologized privately to his teammates and publicly after the tweets appeared

Robinson (left) apologized privately to his teammates and publicly after the tweets appeared

But they also made it clear that the content of the tweets “was completely at odds with our stated ambition to inspire people of all backgrounds in our county to say ‘I feel like part of Sussex Cricket’.”

A statement released by Sussex on Thursday afternoon read: “The wellbeing of players and staff – including mental health and wellbeing – is a priority for the club and as such Sussex Cricket fully supports Ollie in its decision.

If he is ready to return, Ollie will be welcome back to the club, where talks with the rest of the squad over the past week have made it clear that he retains the support of all his Sussex team-mates.

“We remain in close contact with Ollie from a welfare perspective and will provide further updates on his availability at the appropriate times.

Robinson's tweets appeared last week after day one of the first test against New Zealand

Robinson's tweets appeared last week after day one of the first test against New Zealand

Robinson’s tweets appeared last week after day one of the first test against New Zealand

“Another priority for Sussex Cricket is to make cricket a game for everyone in our community.

‘Ollie’s tweets were completely unacceptable, and their content completely contradicts our stated ambition to inspire people of all backgrounds in our county to say ‘I feel a part of Sussex Cricket’.

“Ollie is a very different man from the one who wrote those tweets and has clearly learned a lot in the intervening years. He has made it clear how much shame, shame and remorse he feels for the discriminatory comments he made.

As a result of his actions, Ollie has been suspended from representing his country, is at the center of intense public and media scrutiny and faces the possibility of further disciplinary action from the ECB.

Sussex Cricket will not add up to these substantial penalties. The club will focus on supporting Ollie in his commitment to continue educating himself on equality, diversity and inclusion.

“Ollie has more to learn in this area. We all do. We all have a responsibility to improve and make cricket a game for everyone.

“That’s why last year we set up an equality, diversity and inclusion subcommittee of the Sussex Cricket board to come up with a plan in this area.

Robinson celebrates taking a wicket for Sussex in the County Championship in April

Robinson celebrates taking a wicket for Sussex in the County Championship in April

Robinson celebrates taking a wicket for Sussex in the County Championship in April

“Among the first agreed actions are further training for all our employees, our board of directors and our trustees, the introduction of diversity champions for specific protected characteristics, Urban Cricket Plans to maximize engagement with the diverse communities in Sussex’s largest cities , a commitment to challenge non-inclusive behavior in our organization and the introduction of regular consultations with our employees, customers, volunteers, officials and players to ensure we know exactly where we can improve.

“Everyone at the club is committed to increasing our understanding of equality, diversity and inclusion through education. This will be an ongoing focus for us and one that will take time.

“So evident in society as a whole, there are no quick fixes to address these deep-seated problems.

“Ollie, as well as everyone else at Sussex Cricket, will be involved in our efforts to ensure that as an organization we build on the work we’ve already done and keep getting better.”

Robinson unsuccessfully appeals for Ross Taylor's wicket at Lord's in the first Test

Robinson unsuccessfully appeals for Ross Taylor's wicket at Lord's in the first Test

Robinson unsuccessfully appeals for Ross Taylor’s wicket at Lord’s in the first Test

The 27-year-old bowler will serve out two Vitality Blast games this week for the Sussex Sharks to spend time with his family.

Robinson was suspended by the ECB pending an investigation into the abusive posts eight and nine years ago.

He was therefore not selected for England’s second Test against New Zealand in Edgbaston, which started on Thursday.

The Sussex bowler enjoyed a dream debut in England on the pitch in last week’s first Test against New Zealand, but that was completely overshadowed by the rise of racist and sexist tweets he posted as a teenager.

The tweets, from ten years ago, were published on the first day of Robinson’s debut Test and he apologized publicly and privately to his teammates for his insulting words.

In one he wrote: ‘My new Muslim friend is the bomb’, while another said: ‘Don’t lie, many girls have to learn the art of class! #get something.’

It’s not clear at this time when Robinson will return to action for Sussex – his suspension only applies to international cricket – but they also have T20 Blast matches on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday next week.

England tweet storm

Ollie Robinson

The Sussex bowler enjoyed a dream debut in England on the pitch in last week’s first Test against New Zealand, but that was completely overshadowed by the rise of racist and sexist tweets he posted as a teenager.

The tweets, from ten years ago, were published on the first day of Robinson’s debut Test and he apologized publicly and privately to his teammates for his insulting words.

In one he wrote: ‘My new Muslim friend is the bomb’, while another said: ‘Don’t lie, many girls have to learn the art of class! #get something.’

Robinson has been suspended by the ECB pending an investigation into the offensive words.

Ollie Robinson was brilliant on Lord's debut, but it was overshadowed by the rise of racist and sexist tweets he published as a teenager

Ollie Robinson was brilliant on Lord's debut, but it was overshadowed by the rise of racist and sexist tweets he published as a teenager

Ollie Robinson was brilliant on Lord’s debut, but it was overshadowed by the rise of racist and sexist tweets he published as a teenager

James Anderson

A homophobic post in which the legendary England bowler compared Stuart Broad’s haircut to a ’15-year-old lesbian’ in February 2010.

Responding to the historic tweet, Anderson said, “For me it’s been 10-11 years, I’ve definitely changed as a person. And I think that’s the difficulty, things change, you do make mistakes.’

Anderson, 38, will become England’s most capable Test cricketer when he plays in Edgbaston’s second Test with New Zealand on Thursday.

The rise of Jimmy Anderson's tweets from 10 years ago came on the eve of the second Test in Birmingham

The rise of Jimmy Anderson's tweets from 10 years ago came on the eve of the second Test in Birmingham

The rise of Jimmy Anderson’s tweets from 10 years ago came on the eve of the second Test in Birmingham

Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler

England’s 50-over World Cup winning heroes from 2019 were brought to light by a website in India for mocking Indian English.

Screenshots of Buttler saying, ‘Well done with double 100, much beauty, you are on fire, sir’, to Alex Hales from August 2017, and messages from Morgan and Brendon McCullum to Buttler the following May, the former commenting ‘Sir, you are my favorite batsman” and McCullum adding “Sir, you play very good Opening batting” also came to light.

Those posts have been deleted in the past few days.

Unnamed England player

Another racist message, made public by the website Wisden.com, was unearthed earlier this week. The player was 15 when it was written.

It said: ‘Your’ [sic] dating an Asian” followed by an insulting emoji and three racist hashtags.

Sports post knows the person’s identity but doesn’t reveal it because he was a minor at the time it was posted.

Dom Bess and Rory Burns

Both players have had their Twitter accounts deleted from social media in recent days amid the storm.

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