Minister opposes suspending cricketer for offensive tweets


LONDON — The British government called on England’s cricket authorities on Monday to reconsider the suspension of fast bowler Ollie Robinson while he is being investigated for making discriminatory posts on Twitter from 2012-13.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden weighed in on the matter a day after Robinson was told by the England and Wales Cricket Board he could not play for England while there is an investigation into the racist and sexist tweets he posted as a teenager.

“Ollie Robinson’s tweets were offensive and wrong,” Dowden said on Twitter. “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.”

Robinson made his test debut in the first match of the series against New Zealand last week at Lord’s, taking seven wickets in two innings and also hitting 42 in England’s first innings.

The tweets he posted when he was 18 and 19 resurfaced during the first day of the test and Robinson was close to tears as he issued an apology after stumps. He played the rest of the match and was suspended a few hours after it finished in a draw on Sunday.

Robinson can still play for his county side, Sussex.

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