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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Ollie Robinson deserves second chance if he changed his ways in recent years: Michael Holding

Michael Holding feels that Ollie Robinson should not be severely punished for his historical racist and sexist tweets if an investigation proves he has since changed his behaviour.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: June 9, 2021 7:50:24 am
England's Ollie Robinson celebrates with Dom Sibley after taking the wicket of New Zealand's Neil Wagner (Source: Reuters)

Retired Jamaican fast bowler Michael Holding feels that Ollie Robinson should not be severely punished for his historical racist and sexist tweets if an investigation proves he has changed his behaviour since then.

Robinson has been ruled out of England’s second test against New Zealand starting at Edgbaston on Thursday after historic tweets came to light last week when he made his test debut at Lord’s. In an interview to Sky Sports on Tuesday, Holding said that the ECB had taken the right course of action.

“[It was] eight, nine years ago. Can the ECB then find out please, if beyond that time, Robinson has kept on behaving like that, saying things like that, tweeting things like that?” Holding said. “Because I was a young man once, I did a lot of rubbish as a youngster, and as you go through life you learn and recognise ‘Oh, perhaps what I did at 18 doesn’t apply now, I can’t behave like that now’.

“If he has done something like that nine years ago, and since then he has learnt and he has done nothing like that and he has changed his ways in recent years, then I don’t think you should come down too hard on him.

“Yes, suspend him because you want to investigate. You don’t allow him to continue playing, like on Thursday, while an investigation is going on at the same time, because if you find out things that are horrible coming out in that investigation. But do it quickly, let’s get it over with quickly.”

England players have accepted Ollie Robinson’s apology for racist and sexist comments he posted on social media as a teenager, fast bowler James Anderson said on Tuesday. The 27-year-old fast bowler had apologised “unreservedly” in the dressing room for the 2012-13 Twitter posts and Anderson, England’s all-time leading wicket-taker, told reporters that was accepted.

“The language and things talked about are obviously not acceptable,” he added. “He stood up in front of the group and apologised, and you could see how sincere he was and how upset he was. As a group, we appreciate that he’s a different person now. He has done a lot of maturing and growing since then and he’s got the full support of the team.”

The ECB is also investigating a second England cricketer for historical “offensive” social media posts, cricket website Wisden.com reported on Monday.

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