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Should a cricketer be sacked for racist tweets sent eight years ago?

SImon English Find Out Now Market Research

SImon English

8th Jun, 2021 | 3 mins read

England cricketer Ollie Robinson was yesterday suspended from all international cricket, pending an investigation into racist and sexist tweets he sent in 2012 and 2013 when still a teenager.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden reckons that is “over the top” and Boris Johnson has made supportive remarks, though whether Robinson wants that support is open to question, I guess.

You can read the story here

We wondered whether the UK public think Robinson deserves this punishment. There is no question what he posted was silly and offensive. But he was 18.

On Friday 4th of June we asked an unweighted sample of just over 2000 in the UK: Should cricketer Ollie Robinson be sacked from the England team after racist and sexist tweets made by him in 2012 and 2013 were recently discovered?

You can see the results here

They show that most, 46%, don’t know, while only 16% think he should be sacked.

Rod Liddle gave the poll a mention in his Sunday Times column, which is behind a paywall.

Liddle’s main point was this:

“Those posts were silly and not much more than that. My guess is that the vast majority of people think Robinson’s likely exclusion is odious. But then I often comfort myself with that kind of thought, without having any proof. So this time I commissioned a poll from Findoutnow.co.uk which showed that only 16 per cent of those who responded thought Robinson should be dropped. Why are we perpetually dictated to by that hugely annoying 16 per cent?”

Rod Liddle, The Sunday Times

I’m inclined to agree. We might not, as Liddle said, recommend Robinson as the next chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

But if there were a permanent record of everything I said when I was 18, I doubt each utterance would be a source of great pride.

I think Robinson should have said sorry. And that everyone else should have just moved on.

Simon English is the Senior City Correspondent at the London Evening Standard.

Photo by Chirayu Trivedi on Unsplash