ECB to review players' social media, door open for sanctions against offensive posts
The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) will review its players' social media accounts, opening the door to disciplinary sanctions for offensive posts after pacer Ollie Robinson's racist and sexist tweets from the past led to his suspension.
Fast bowler Robinson's tweets from 2012-13 came to light while he was making his England debut during the drawn first Test against New Zealand at Lord's last week, the development creating a furore and reigniting the debate on racism in the sport.
The player has been suspended pending an investigation, even as the ECB investigates offensive tweets by another player.
"The board agreed to the executive's recommendation for a social media review to address any historical issues, remind individuals of their personal responsibilities going forward, and help them learn lessons along the way," the ECB said in a statement.
A meeting of the ECB Board took place on Wednesday to address the emergence of historical social media content, shared by high-profile players within the game.
"The board was clear that this process would not prevent further disciplinary action in the future, should that be required, under the applicable processes, but it is hoped that the game can emerge from this difficult period stronger and determined to be more inclusive and welcoming to all," it added in the statement.
The "collaborative" review will involve administrators, players, coaches and the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA).
Ian Watmore, chair of the ECB, reiterated the organisation's commitments on diversity and inclusivity.
"Making cricket a game for everyone is central to the game's 'Inspiring Generations' strategy. Celebrating our many brilliant role models in men's, women's and disability cricket is essential to that aim, and the right use of social media is a critical means for achieving it," Watmore said.
"As the national governing body, we must steer a path between helping individuals project an inclusive image, educating them on what is expected of them and allowing them the space to express themselves to the public.
"We must also investigate their actions and sanction them when they fall short," he added.
The 27-year-old Robinson has apologised for his "thoughtless and irresponsible" tweets he posted as a teenager.
PCA chief executive, Rob Lynch, said: "We will consult with our members and work with the ECB to develop terms of reference for a social media review, which in turn, will lead to better insight and an opportunity to improve.
"Our commitment, as always in times like this is to ensure the ECB process is fair and considered and to offer support, advice, and education to all of our members."