Ollie Robinson deserves to be understood and condemned

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Yesterday should be the proudest moment in Ollie Robinson’s life. He made his first test match for the England team and participated in his first test match wicket. However, the end of his day was slightly different from what he expected. After Robinson’s racist and offensive tweets appeared when he was 18 years old, he was placed in front of a TV camera, apparently a broken man, while the greatness and kindness of British cricket lined up to condemn him.

European Central Bank chief executive Tom Harrison is the toughest. “I can’t express in words how disappointed an English male player chose to write tweets of this nature, even though it may have been a long time ago,” he said. “We have zero tolerance for any form of discrimination and have established rules to deal with such behavior. As part of our disciplinary process, we will launch a full investigation.”

Of course, Robinson’s tweets are totally unacceptable, but if we judge every man or woman by what they say as an immature teenager, we have become a very unpleasant country.

Those of us in the older generation have been fortunate enough to survive our teenage years, and with all the errors and stupidity that come with it, the ghost of no social media will always keep us stupid.

I very much doubt whether there is anyone condemning Ollie Robinson, who wants to make his adolescent thoughts and so-called jokes public. Can even Tom Harrison honestly say that he will not regret anything he said when he was 18? Let the innocent indeed cast the first stone.

Of course, this is not to assume that any of these people have spoken about racism. Simply put, at the age of 18, we do not have the wisdom to understand the effects of our words and how they might affect the maturity of others.

It should also be pointed out that people will change regardless of age and should be judged based on who they are now rather than who they may have been in the past. It is worth remembering that Oli Robinson’s progress in Sussex was supervised by Jason Gillespie, who is the same head coach, and he was sent in these tweets for “unprofessional behavior”. He was fired from Yorkshire the following year.

Gillespie said at the time: “I think he will have a future in the professional game, but I think he needs to learn a lot, I think he can do it.” Obviously, if he doesn’t believe that he has changed and matured, the Australian Robinson would not be trained as a pioneer in the Sussex attack.

Robinson also played for a diverse Sussex team. If he is the same person 8 years ago, it is difficult to see how he adapts. For example, it is questionable whether Jofra Archer is willing to share the new ball with a known racist.

If we do not change and learn to be more tolerant of the mistakes of young people, the plight of the next generation who has grown up with social media throughout their lives will be more serious. We will not judge them based on what they said when they were 18 years old, but based on what they said when they were 12 years old.

Humans are defective creatures, they will speak and do bad things in the process of growing and learning. Sadly, we have become a society in which we publicly humiliate and condemn the mistakes an adult made when he was young. We should not let our pursuit of tolerance make us an intolerant country.

Billy Crawford



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