England debutant Ollie Robinson forced to apologise after vile racist and sexist tweets from his past emerge

OLLIE ROBINSON was forced to apologise on his first day as an England player about revolting racist and sexist tweets from his past.

The offensive social media posts were made in 2012 – when Robinson was aged 18.

Robinson used the n-word and another tweet said: "My new muslim friend is the bomb #wheeyyyyy."

There were also sexist comments about 'females who play video games actually tend to have more sex'.

On the field, Robinson impressed with two of the three wickets as New Zealand reached 246-3 by the close of day one of the First Test at Lord’s.

Kiwi debutant Devon Conway finished 136 not out.

The historical tweets could not have been more embarrassing for England because they were discovered on a day when before play the players had a ‘moment of unity.’

This involved wearing t-shirts standing against all forms of discrimination, including racism and sexism.

Robinson read a statement, which said: “On the biggest day of my career so far, I am embarrassed by the racist and sexist tweets that I posted over eight years ago which have today become public.

“I want to make it clear that I'm not racist and I'm not sexist. 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.

“Today should be about my efforts on the field and the pride of making my Test debut for England but my thoughtless behaviour in the past has tarnished this.

“Over the past few years, I have worked hard to turn my life around. I have considerably matured as an adult.

"The work and education I have gained personally from the PCA, my county Sussex and the England cricket team have helped me to come to terms and gain a deep understanding of being a responsible professional cricketer.

“I would like to unreservedly apologise to anyone I have offended, my team-mates and the game as a whole in what has been a day of action and awareness in combatting discrimination from our sport.

“I don’t want something that happened eight years ago to diminish the efforts of my team-mates and the ECB as they continue to build meaningful action with their comprehensive initiatives and efforts, which I fully endorse and support.

“I will continue to educate myself, look for advice and work with the support network that is available to me to learn more about getting better in this area. I am sorry and I have certainly learned my lesson today.”

Robinson added: “I was young, naive. It was a tough stage of my life.

Since then I have turned it around. It’s a huge day for me today and it’s a shame that this has tarnished it.

“It’s tough to take at the moment. It’s not really settled in fully. I only found out when I got off the field this evening. It’s something I’ll think about when I get back to the room and collect my thoughts. But it’s a shame that a good day has ended like this.”

Robinson was made aware of the furore after play finished and a crisis meeting involving England supremo Ashley Giles and head coach Chris Silverwood urged Robinson to offer his mea culpa.

Robinson was sacked by Yorkshire in 2014 for “unprofessional conduct” but has rebuilt his career with huge success at Sussex.

He plays along several black players at Hove, including England stars Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan.

Robinson, who said he did not realise the tweets were still on his feed, was blasted by ECB chief executive Tom Harrison, who warned the player faces disciplinary action.

Harrison said: “I do not have the words to express how disappointed I am that an England men’s player has chosen to write tweets of this nature, however long ago that might have been.

“Any person reading those words, particularly a woman or person of colour, would take away an image of cricket and cricketers that is completely unacceptable. We are better than this.

“We have a zero-tolerance stance to any form of discrimination and there are rules in place that handle conduct of this nature. We will initiate a full investigation as part of our disciplinary process.

“Our England men’s team, alongside others from the ECB and our partners across the game, worked together today to create a moment of unity, using today’s spotlight to reaffirm our commitment to driving forward an anti-discrimination agenda.

“Our commitment to that effort remains unwavering and the emergence of these comments from Ollie’s past reiterates the need for ongoing education and engagement on this issue.”

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