England v New Zealand Tests - Men's
England players 'anxious' as ECB reviews more tweets
The ECB says it will consider cases on an individual basis after a number of historic social media posts were questioned in the wake of Ollie Robinson's ban
9 June 2021, 08:48 AM AEST
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has vowed to take "relevant and appropriate action" after questions were raised publicly about historical tweets from several England players.
Fast bowler Ollie Robinson has been ruled out of England's second Test against New Zealand starting at Edgbaston on Thursday after historical tweets came to light last week when he made his debut at Lord's.
The ECB is also investigating a second England cricketer for historical "offensive" social media posts after Wisden.com trawled through old posts to uncover a racist tweet, but the publication chose not to disclose the identity of the player because he was under 16 when it was posted.
Since then tweets by other England players have come to light, with England stars James Anderson, Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan, as well as former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum, all reported to have had historic tweets emerge.
"Since we were alerted to offensive tweets last week, a number of historical social media posts by other individuals have been questioned publicly as well," an ECB spokesperson said.
"There is no place for discrimination in our sport, and we are committed to taking relevant and appropriate action where required.
"Given the concerns which have been raised are clearly now broader than a single case, the ECB board will discuss how we deal with issues over historical social media material in a timely and appropriate manner.
"Each case will be considered on an individual basis, looking at all the facts."
England players have accepted Robinson's apology for the racist and sexist comments he posted on social media as a teenager, said Anderson.
The 27-year-old Robinson apologised "unreservedly" in the dressing room for the 2012-13 Twitter posts and Anderson – who will this week become the country's most capped Test player if he takes the field in the second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston – told reporters that had been accepted.
"The language and things talked about are obviously not acceptable," Anderson said.
"He stood up in front of the group and apologised, and you could see how sincere he was and how upset he was."
Anderson said England's cricketers were "feeling anxious" about old tweets, but were committed to "improving ourselves as people".
"I guess we do feel anxious," the 38-year-old fast bowler told reporters.
"If there are any tweets from years ago we do have to look at that and again learn from this and try to be better in the future, try to make sure we know it's unacceptable to use these sorts of phrases and language.
"It is a difficult time. As players we are trying to learn from this. We realise it's important to try to get educated around these issues, which we continue to do with the ECB and the PCA (Professional Cricketers' Association). We had already been doing workshops before this series, basically to improve ourselves as people.
"It doesn't matter how old you are, you can never know too much. It's really important we keep doing this, keep buying into this, because it's hugely important to make our game as inclusive as possible."