James Anderson says Ollie Robinson has the “full support” of the England team after he was suspended from international cricket for sending historic racist and sexist tweets. Offensive social media posts by Robinson in 2012 and 2013 came to light while he was making his Test debut against New Zealand at Lord’s last week.
Robinson made a public apology following day one of a match he ended with an impressive seven wickets, also making an important 42 with the bat.
The 27-year-old will not play in the second Test at Edgbaston as he was sent back to his county, Sussex, by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and must await the verdict of a disciplinary investigation.
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, said the ECB had “gone over the top” by suspending Robinson, sentiments that were later echoed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It emerged on Monday that a second unnamed England player is under investigation for a historical racist tweet.
Anderson, poised to become England’s most-capped Test player by making his 162nd appearance for his country against the Black Caps at Edgbaston this week, says Robinson has the backing of his teammates and has learned from his mistakes.
Asked if Robinson’s apology had been accepted, the seamer said: “I think it’s been accepted, he stood up in front of the group and apologised.
“You could see how sincere and upset he was. I think as a group we appreciate he is a different person now. He’s done a lot of maturing and growing since then and he’s got the full support of the team.”
Statement: Ollie Robinson suspended from all international cricket
— England and Wales Cricket Board (@ECB_cricket) June 6, 2021
Anderson said he did feel let down by Robinson, who must now wait to discover whether further action will be taken.
“I wouldn’t say let down,” said England’s leading Test wicket-taker. “The tweets coming 10 years ago, obviously there was initial shock with the language that was used but his remorse was sincere.
“He’s definitely changed as a person, he’s definitely going to improve and learn from these mistakes.”
Anderson revealed the ECB and the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) had put on workshops to educate players over important issues such as racism.
He said: “It’s a difficult time but as players, we are trying to learn from this. We realise it’s important to try and get educated around these issues, which we are continuing to do with the ECB and PCA.
“We’ve already been doing workshops before this series to try and help improve ourselves as people, to try and make sure this sort of thing doesn’t happen.”