Tuesday, 15 Jun 2021

Even Femi agrees! Arch-Remainer warns cancelling Ollie Robinson to ‘fuel’ more backlash

JHB slams 'woke brigade' after Ollie Robinson's suspension

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Unapologetic europhile Femi Oluwole has slammed a decision by the England Cricket Board (ECB) to suspend the all-rounder over tweets he made nearly a decade ago. Robinson has apologised for the series of historic racist and sexist tweets he made between 2012 and 2013 when he was 18 and 19.

They emerged while he was making his England debut during the drawn first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.

Despite his apology, the ECB dropped the 27-year-old for the second Test, which begins at Edgbaston on Thursday, pending an investigation.

Mr Oluwole, the founder of the pro-European Union advocacy group Our Future Our Choice, tweeted his support for Mr Robinson.

He wrote: “If Ollie Robinson has actually changed in the eight years since posting those tweets, then suspending him after he’s called his former self racist/sexist and expressed shame, just fuels the Right-Wing narrative that anti-racists care more about taking people out than fighting racism.

“As several comments have pointed out, the ‘if’ is doing a lot of the heavy lifting in that statement.”

The cricket star’s treatment has also attracted sympathy from those on the right of the UK’s political spectrum.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden lent the sportsman his support as he slammed the ECB’s “over the top” actions.

The cabinet minister tweeted: “Ollie Robinson’s tweets were offensive and wrong.

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“They are also a decade old and written by a teenager.

“The teenager is now a man and has rightly apologised.

“The ECB has gone over the top by suspending him and should think again.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson backed these views, which are shared by many Brits.

A spokesperson for Mr Johnson said: “The PM is supportive of Oliver Dowden’s comments.

“As (Mr) Dowden set out, these were comments made more than a decade ago written by someone as a teenager and for which they’ve rightly apologised.”

The ECB has yet to comment on the political statements.

In a public apology the cricketer said: “I am sorry, and I have certainly learned my lesson today.

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

The ECB must determine who Mr Robinson was contracted to at the time of the tweets.

This will decide whether the investigation will be carried out by the ECB or the Cricket Discipline Commission, which is independent of the ECB.

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