Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has backed Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of UK cultural ministry, for his statement which says that the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) decision to suspend fast bowler Ollie Robinson from international cricket until an investigation was “over the top.”
Ollie Robinson, who recently made debut for England in the recent Lord’s Test against New Zealand, picking 7 wickets and playing an important 42-run knock, was suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board on Sunday for offensive tweets made by him in 2012 and 2013 when he was 18 years old.
The tweets resurfaced last Wednesday, the first day of Robinson’s Test debut at Lord’s, against New Zealand. At the close of first day’s play, the 27-year-old even apologised for the same and said he was going through a difficult period in his life when he posted the racist tweets as an 18-year-old.
“I want to make it clear that I’m not racist and I’m not sexist,” Robinson had said.
“I deeply regret my actions, and I am ashamed of making such remarks. I was thoughtless and irresponsible, and regardless of my state of mind at the time, my actions were inexcusable. Since that period, I have matured as a person and fully regret the tweets.”
However, his apology was not enough as the ECB suspended him after the end of the first Test while initiating a disciplinary investigation.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson In Support Of Oliver Dowden’s Comments
Meanwhile, the Secretary of State for the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS), Oliver Dowden found the actions of the ECB to be ‘over the top’ and that the cricket board should rethink the punishment.
“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 apologized. The ECB has gone over the top by suspending him and should think again,” Dowden tweeted.
Furthermore, his comments received support from none other than the Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson.
“The Prime Minister is supportive of the comments from Oliver Dowden that he made via tweet this morning. As Oliver Dowden set out, these were comments made more than a decade ago written by someone as a teenager, for which they’ve rightly apologized,” Johnson’s official spokesperson said.
England will take on New Zealand in the second Test of the series in Edgbaston from June 10 onwards.