Ollie Robinson’s suspension ‘over the top’, says Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden

Ministers have today rallied against the suspension of England cricket star Ollie Robinson for posting racist and sexist tweets nearly a decade ago.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden this morning said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had gone ‘over the top’ by suspending the bowler while it carries out an investigation.

Meanwhile Conservative minister Zac Goldsmith shared his disapproval, saying the suspension was ‘completely disproportionate and absurd’.

It comes after the tweets – posted when Robinson was a teenager – were dredged up from 2012 and 2013.

Robinson, who is now 27 and has apologised for his actions, will miss Thursday’s second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston and could face further punishment at the hands of the ECB.

But, in a post on Twitter, Mr Dowden today criticised the decision to suspend Robinson, saying: ‘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 apologised. The ECB has gone over the top by suspending him and should think again.’

Meanwhile, Mr Goldsmith, the Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment, said: ‘He sent stupid tweets as a teenager, and has apologised profusely. What is to gain in trying to ruin his career over this?’ 

The ECB has suspended Robinson (pictured) from all international cricket while the body investigates

The ECB has suspended Robinson (pictured) from all international cricket while the body investigates

The ECB has suspended Robinson (pictured) from all international cricket while the body investigates

Conservative minister Zac Goldsmith (pictured) shared his disapproval at the bowler's suspension, saying it was 'completely disproportionate and absurd'.

Conservative minister Zac Goldsmith (pictured) shared his disapproval at the bowler's suspension, saying it was 'completely disproportionate and absurd'.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden (pictured) this morning said the England and Wales Cricket Board has gone 'over the top' with the suspension.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden (pictured) this morning said the England and Wales Cricket Board has gone 'over the top' with the suspension.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden (pictured right) this morning said the England and Wales Cricket Board has gone ‘over the top’ with the suspension. Meanwhile Conservative minister Zac Goldsmith (pictured left) shared his disapproval at the bowler’s suspension, saying it was ‘completely disproportionate and absurd’. 

Thousands of England supporters boo their own players for taking a knee AGAIN – ignoring plea of manager Gareth Southgate before Romania friendlyITLE

By Ollie Lewis for MailOnline

England fans have defied the wishes of Gareth Southgate and once again booed their own players kneeling before kick off against Romania on Sunday.

Footballers have taken to kneeling before every game for the past year in a defiant message against racism in all walks of life, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May. 

However, the return of supporters to football grounds has seen the message opposed by some fans in the stands, and thousands booed England stars Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and Tyrone Mings when they kneeled before Wednesday’s win over Austria at the Riverside Stadium.

Manager Southgate said the team were ‘collectively disappointed’ about the negative reaction in midweek, which was the first England match played in front of fans since November 2019.

The Three Lions boss urged fans to respect the players’ stance, while the FA are understood to have considered using the public announcement system at Middlesbrough to urge fans to respect the gesture.  

‘We can’t control the response but we’re very clear on our stance, we’re totally with the players,’ he told ITV Sport before kick off. 

‘We’re united with the staff and the playing group. We hope to unite people through that.’ 

Yet supporters still opted to voice their disapproval of players kneeling, with boos heard at the Riverside Stadium while a number of fans tried to drown out the discontent with a round of applause for the players.

Two players from the visiting side chose to remain standing during the moment before kick off.   

Marcus Rashford, who captained England in Middlesbrough on Sunday evening, said of the booing: ‘It’s something we can’t control. We’re going to continue to do it.’ 

Reflecting on the most recent episode of booing, ITV pundit Ian Wright remains adamant that those opposing kneeling can still be educated on the subject.

‘You focus on the game but you’re still explaining it and they’re still booing. You’ve got to still try and reach those people,’ he said at half time. 

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He was joined in his criticism of the decision by fellow Tory, George Freeman.

The Mid-Norfolk MP said on Twitter: ‘Seriously? Posting inappropriate tweets when a teenager – for which he’s apologised – is now a disqualifying crime for playing cricket for your country? Seriously??’

It came as last night the England cricket team announced they had suspended Robinson from all international cricket over the tweets, posted between 2012 and 2013.

Robinson apologised last week, while captain Joe Root described his debutant fast bowler’s behaviour as ‘unacceptable’.

Robinson will miss Thursday’s second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston, with the potential for further punishment as the ECB’s integrity department try to establish whether he had any form of county contract when he posted the messages on social media in 2012 and 2013.

If he did, his case will be heard by the independent Cricket Discipline Commission. If not, the ECB will take charge.

Either way, he can still play for Sussex, with whom he has a separate employment contract.

The news came less than two hours after a drawn first Test at Lord’s, with Root admitting he ‘couldn’t believe it’ when he was told on Wednesday night about the tweets.

‘Ollie’s learned a hard lesson,’ said the England captain. 

‘It’s unacceptable what he’s done. He’s fronted up to the dressing-room and the world, and shown remorse, but we’ve got to keep looking to learn and educate as much as we can, and make the game as diverse as possible. 

‘We’re not saying the team is perfect, but we’re always trying to improve.’

Asked what his reaction was when he was told about the tweets after the first day’s play, Root replied: ‘I couldn’t believe them, personally. I didn’t really know how to take it.

‘But I think the most important thing is that Ollie’s part of the dressing-room and we had to support him. 

‘We had to try and do everything we could to give him an opportunity to learn and to understand that he has to do better.’

Meanwhile, Root defended his team’s approach after his opposite number Kane Williamson boldly set them 273 in 75 to take a 1-0 lead to Thursday’s second Test at Edgbaston. 

With opener Dom Sibley making an unbeaten 60 from 207 balls, England reached 170 for three before hands were shaken. 

‘It was a tricky wicket with a bit of up-and-down bounce, and we didn’t have the time we needed to go after that target,’ said Root. ‘It was the conditions, because we have the talent in the dressing-room to get the runs. 

‘On the surface, it looked like quite a generous declaration, but having played on that wicket for the best part for days, we knew it wasn’t going to be straightforward.’

Root said England eventually settled for a show of discipline after a first-innings performance in which ‘there were a lot of dismissals that weren’t good enough for Test cricket’. 

Robinson's nine-year-old tweets served to completely undermine England's 'moment of unity'

Robinson's nine-year-old tweets served to completely undermine England's 'moment of unity'

Robinson’s nine-year-old tweets served to completely undermine England’s ‘moment of unity’

The 27-year-old was left ashamed after unearthing of historic racist and sexist tweets

The 27-year-old was left ashamed after unearthing of historic racist and sexist tweets

The 27-year-old was left ashamed after unearthing of historic racist and sexist tweets

Joe Root labelled the tweets 'unacceptable' and he said he 'couldn't believe it' on Wednesday

Joe Root labelled the tweets 'unacceptable' and he said he 'couldn't believe it' on Wednesday

Joe Root labelled the tweets ‘unacceptable’ and he said he ‘couldn’t believe it’ on Wednesday

‘I hope England lose in the first round of the Euros’: Laurence Fox slams ‘millionaire woke babies protesting inequality on £200,000-a-week’ 

By Katie Feehan for MailOnline

Laurence Fox today said he hoped England would lose in the first round of the Euros as he criticised footballers for taking the knee, as a Tory MP also announced he would boycott national games over the anti-racism gesture.

The one-time Mayor of London candidate slammed ‘millionaire woke babies protesting inequality on £200,000 a week’ after portions of the crowd jeered while players knelt before a friendly against Romania on Sunday at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium.

Meanwhile, Conservative MP for Ashfield and Eastwood Lee Anderson said the FA had made a ‘big mistake’ in supporting taking the knee, claiming that Black Lives Matter ‘aims to undermine our way of life’.

Footballers have taken to kneeling before every game for the past year in a defiant message against racism after BLM protests spread the gesture around the world following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May.

After a minority booed the stance ahead of Wednesday’s win over Austria, manager Gareth Southgate urged fans to support players making the gesture against discrimination, but this failed to convince some sections of the crowd who continued to jeer at the second England warm-up game.

Some critics see taking the knee as a political act in support of Black Lives Matter, which has become controversial in some quarters after some activists expressed Marxist rhetoric and backed defunding the police.

Southgate has said the players had explained so many times that the gesture did not represent some of the more extreme views of the Black Lives Matter group that those choosing to ignore that are doing so deliberately.

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Asked about England’s approach, Williamson was diplomatic. ‘I suppose they were trying to get a feel for the surface,’ he said. ‘If it wasn’t for that lost day, we would have seen a fantastic finish to what was a very good game of cricket.’

It comes as England fans yesterday defied the wishes of Gareth Southgate and once again booed their own players kneeling before kick off against Romania.

Footballers have taken to kneeling before every game for the past year in a defiant message against racism in all walks of life, following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last May. 

However, the return of supporters to football grounds has seen the message opposed by some fans in the stands, and thousands booed England stars Harry Kane, Jude Bellingham and Tyrone Mings when they kneeled before Wednesday’s win over Austria at the Riverside Stadium.

Manager Southgate said the team were ‘collectively disappointed’ about the negative reaction in midweek, which was the first England match played in front of fans since November 2019.

The Three Lions boss urged fans to respect the players’ stance, while the FA are understood to have considered using the public announcement system at Middlesbrough to urge fans to respect the gesture.  

‘We can’t control the response but we’re very clear on our stance, we’re totally with the players,’ he told ITV Sport before kick off. 

‘We’re united with the staff and the playing group. We hope to unite people through that.’ 

Yet supporters still opted to voice their disapproval of players kneeling, with boos heard at the Riverside Stadium while a number of fans tried to drown out the discontent with a round of applause for the players.

Two players from the visiting side chose to remain standing during the moment before kick off.   

Marcus Rashford, who captained England in Middlesbrough on Sunday evening, said of the booing: ‘It’s something we can’t control. We’re going to continue to do it.’ 

Reflecting on the most recent episode of booing, ITV pundit Ian Wright remains adamant that those opposing kneeling can still be educated on the subject.

‘You focus on the game but you’re still explaining it and they’re still booing. You’ve got to still try and reach those people,’ he said at half time. 

Meanwhile, Laurence Fox today said he hoped England would lose in the first round of the Euros as he criticised footballers for taking the knee, as a Tory MP also announced he would boycott national games over the anti-racism gesture. 

The one-time Mayor of London candidate slammed ‘millionaire woke babies protesting inequality on £200,000 a week’ after portions of the crowd jeered while players knelt before a friendly against Romania on Sunday at Middlesbrough’s Riverside Stadium. 

England fans defied the wishes of Gareth Southgate and booed their players kneeling before kick off against Romania on Sunday

England fans defied the wishes of Gareth Southgate and booed their players kneeling before kick off against Romania on Sunday

England fans defied the wishes of Gareth Southgate and booed their players kneeling before kick off against Romania on Sunday

Returning supporters have voiced their opposition to the message against racism in society

Returning supporters have voiced their opposition to the message against racism in society

Returning supporters have voiced their opposition to the message against racism in society

Gareth Southgate urged fans to get behind the players ahead of kick off in Middlesbrough

Meanwhile, Conservative MP for Ashfield and Eastwood Lee Anderson said the FA had made a ‘big mistake’ in supporting taking the knee, claiming that Black Lives Matter ‘aims to undermine our way of life’.  

Fox – who is best known for playing DS James Hathaway in Lewis – was left fuming at the act and shared his thoughts with his followers.

In a string of Tweets shared on Sunday night, Fox said: ‘I’m embarrassed to be British. I hope any team but ours wins in any future sporting endeavour.

Tory MP Lee Anderson said he plans to boycott England over the FA backing taking the knee

Tory MP Lee Anderson said he plans to boycott England over the FA backing taking the knee

Tory MP Lee Anderson said he plans to boycott England over the FA backing taking the knee

‘Tell me a single thing to moderate my thinking? Millionaire woke babies protesting inequality on two hundred grand a week.

‘We deserve everything that is coming. Weak men. Weak.

‘My prayers are with Croatia, The Czech Republic and Scotland. Knock these woke English babies out.

‘My whole life I’ve wanted England to win at football.

‘From a sofa with glandular fever during Italia 90 and Salvatore Schillaci, to a traffic jam in west London in an overheating mini listening to England beat Holland 4-1 in 96. Tw*tter rant over.’ 

Labour politicians including former shadow chancellor John McDonnell have called fans booing the knee ‘racist’. 

But Tory MP Lee Anderson, 54, called BLM – which popularised the gesture in the UK – a ‘Marxist organisation’. 

He told The Times: ‘The FA, Premier League and footballers now run the risk of becoming like the Labour Party and that is having nothing in common with their traditional supporters. 

‘All forms of racism are vile and should be stamped out, but this is not the way. 

‘For the first time in my life I will not be watching my beloved England team while they are supporting a political movement whose core principles aim is to undermine our way of life.’ 

Mr Anderson was supported by Jonathan Gullis, the Tory MP for Stoke-on-Trent North. Gullis, 31, said BLM was ‘a Marxist organisation that wants to abolish the nuclear family and defund the police’.

Link hienalouca.com

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