James Anderson deletes 2010 tweet telling Stuart Broad he has a ‘lesbian haircut’ as he reveals squad is being forced to undergo ‘racism workshops’ by England cricket bosses

  • The 38-year-old fast bowler removed the Twitter post sent on February 20, 2010
  • It comes after Anderson said that he has ‘changed as a person’ from decade ago
  • He revealed the squad had been forced to undergo ‘racism workshops’ by bosses
  • These began before the first Test and Ollie Robinson’s online posts had emerged
  • He said Robinson, 27, has ‘got the full support of the team’ despite his suspension
  • It also emerged a second international star was being probed over a racist post

England cricketer James Anderson has deleted a historical tweet telling Stuart Broad he has a ‘lesbian haircut’ amid the fallout from Ollie Robinson’s previous posts.

The fast bowler removed the message from February 20, 2010, which saw him mock his Test match teammate.

The move comes after the 38-year-old said today he has ‘changed as a person’ from a decade ago.

Meanwhile Anderson revealed the squad had been forced to continue ‘racism workshops’ by bosses ‘to try and help improve ourselves as people’.

He also said Robinson has ‘got the full support of the team’ despite the England and Wales Cricket Board suspending him for racist and sexist tweets when he was just 18.

Elsewhere it emerged a second international star was being probed over a racist post when he was a teenager.

England fast bowler Stuart Broad is pictured in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on February 26, 2010, just days after Anderson’s tweet about his hair

The fast bowler (pictured at Edgbaston today) removed the message from February 20, 2010, which saw him mock his test match teammate

Anderson, the leading wicket-taker of all-time at Test level, penned the post about Broad at 1.26am on February 20, 2010.

He wrote: ‘I saw Broady’s new haircut for the first time today. Not sure about it. Thought he looked like a 15 yr old lesbian!’

But it has since emerged the post had been deleted in the wake of the fallout over Robinson’s messages, though it is not clear when it was taken down.

Earlier today Anderson was asked how carefully he had reviewed his own posts, which date back to 2009.

He said: ‘For me, it’s 10-11 years ago, I’ve certainly changed as a person. I think that’s the difficulty, things do change, you do make mistakes.

‘It’s something that we’re definitely going to have to look at. But again, if we educate people well enough, if we get educated enough, the language in those tweets doesn’t go out in the first place.’

Anderson, who has been part of the England side since 2002 and will this week become the most capped Test player, said players were also attending workshops.

He said: ‘It’s a difficult time. As players, we’re trying to learn from this really.

‘We’ve realised that it’s important to try and get educated around these issues, which we’re continuing to do with the ECB and the PCA (Professional Cricketers’ Association).

‘We’ve all been doing workshops before this series to try and help improve ourselves as people basically, to try and make sure that this sort of thing doesn’t happen.

‘Yes, we do make mistakes, everyone does and as people we’ve got to try improve and make sure this sort of stuff doesn’t happen and make sure people are aware it’s not acceptable.’

Anderson and Broad are pictured taking a rest from training in the sun in Birmingham today

Who is Ben Gardner, Wisden’s ‘woke’ writer who exposed SECOND England star’s tweets?

Ben Gardner is the managing editor of wisden.com.

The writer revealed today a second England cricketer posted unsavoury tweets when he was a teenager.

Gardner has worked for wisden.com since March 2017 and has written hundreds of articles for it.

His social media says he goes by the pronouns ‘he/him/ and he lives in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.

Ben Gardner (pictured), managing editor of Wisden.com, today defended his story on BBC Radio 4 earlier today

He also describes himself as a ‘weathered empire builder’.

Before joined Wisden, Gardner worked as an account manager for the International Cricket Council.

In an article pinned on his Twitter page, Gardner defended a female England cricketer who poked fun at the male side as they struggled against India earlier this year.

Alex Hartley had joked it was ‘nice of the England boys to get this test match finished just before England Women play tonight’ followed by a series of clap emojis.

But he post was slammed for former and current male stars including Rory Burns and Ben Duckett.

Gardner defended her post as ‘a joke tossed off by a media figure in the style for which they are becoming known, and an attempt as a fan to make light of and laugh about a tough-to-take result’.  

The swing bowler also said Robinson had the ‘full support of the team’ despite being suspended for his Twitter posts when he was just 18.

Robinson is facing a probe into racist and sexist tweets he posted in 2012 and 2013, which drew attention away from a strong international debut against New Zealand.

The ECB has since become aware of a second unidentified player posting ‘historic offensive material’ on social media.

Anderson added: ‘(Robinson) stood up in front of the group and apologised and you can see how sincere he was, and how upset he was.

‘I think as a group, we’ve appreciated that he’s a different person now. He’s done a lot of maturing and growing since then and he’s got the full support of the team.’

His comments came after a second international player was revealed to have posted racist content online when he was a youngster.

The post, said to have been written years ago, said ‘your going out with a asian’ and three hashtags: ‘Asianthroughandthrough’, ‘hweolloo’ and ‘c****y’.

Fans turned on Wisden for ‘trawling through the Twitter feeds’ of England stars to find the post.

Wisden.com, which shares the name of the traditional Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack but is owned by a separate company and has separate staff, did not name him.

But it is believed he was 16 at the time the post was made. It was also reported other posts on the accused’s social media contained homophobic content.

Cricket fans turned on the prestigious sporting bible, accusing Wisden of ‘going woke’.

One Twitter user, Niall Gooch, wrote: ‘The fact that it’s Wisden is really depressing.

‘The one cricket institution that I might have hoped would just report the game, and leave offence archaeology to the lunatics on Twitter.’

Another wrote: ”Uncovered by Wisden” – What on earth does that mean?’ They have some woke intern doing twitter archaeology looking for offence? It is simply bizarre.’

Bosses at wisden.com tried to play down the time they had spent ‘trawling’ through the social media pages of England’s players in order to find the tweet.

The journalist who wrote the story, Wisden.com’s managing editor Ben Gardner, even claimed on BBC Radio 4 that they ‘weren’t even really looking for it’.

The offending tweet has now been taken offline by the player as the investigation continues

Fans today turned on the ‘Bible of Cricket’ (pictured: The annual cricketers’ almanack which Wisden is famous for) after its associated website Wisden.com unearthed the historical tweets from a current England star 

The writer, who is from Hemel Hempstead in Hertfordshire and was previously an ICC account manager, said: ‘Honestly we weren’t even hugely looking for this one.

‘It was a very quick search that unearthed this. I would think, all cricketers of any sort of notability would be going through their old tweets and looking very carefully.’

The discovery will infuriate ECB bosses, who last Wednesday unveiled their new anti-discrimination drive on the first morning of the Test against New Zealand at Lord’s.

In a statement, the ECB said the social media post had been ‘brought to our attention’ and the governing body would make further comment ‘in due course’.

Speaking about the site’s decision not to name the player, Wisden’s Mr Gardner told BBC Radio 4: ‘I suppose the key difference between this and the Ollie Robinson case is, one, that this player was under the age of 16 at the time of the tweets in question, and also we feel that, in a way, this story is more than just a couple of players’ social media tweets.

‘And (we felt) we wouldn’t want to bring the focus on to just a couple of players, so, we thought that if we could somehow obscure the identity of a cricketer, which we were able to do because we were the first to find this Tweet and bring it to the attention of the England media team, then that then means we could try to shine a light on the wider issues, I suppose.’

Former England players took to the airwaves this morning to debate the fate of Robinson following his dramatic removal from the squad.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain, former England captain David Gower, 64, said: ‘You learn through your life.

‘I think he knew what he did wrong at the time. He was younger than 16 so can’t be named.

‘An even younger player. Everyone in sport, in life, is looking at Twitter going ‘I have no idea what I wrote years ago so I best delete it for sure’. 

‘Others have deleted theirs to be sure. The ECB should have looked in before it became a storm.

‘If you’re looking through sport as a whole, or business. If you as a young person apply for a job somewhere it’s perfectly possible interviewers look through social media.

‘Try hard not to espouse racist or sexist views. If you do have a moment of unawareness don’t post it on social media.’

On Robinson, he added: ‘I think it’s heavy handed. I personally don’t see the need to suspend him. He has apologised which is a big start. The whole thing is about education.

‘The whole point is that cricket has tried to play its part to set standards. Racism, misogyny, a long list of things they’re trying to educate people to be aware of. That’s what the players stood for when they put those t-shirts on.’

Ollie Robinson was banned from international cricket pending an inquiry after historic racist and sexist tweets were unearthed last week

English cricket is facing more turmoil after another racist tweet by an unnamed current player was exposed by a website 

Monty Panesar said the ECB should not give out a ‘harsher’ punishment than a one test-match ban.

Speaking on GMB, the spin bowler said: ‘I think he shouldn’t be given a harsher punishment than just one match, if what he has learnt makes a lot of sense.’

But Mr Panesar said Robinson must explain his actions and urged that it ‘must come him’.

He said: ‘It can’t be a statement from the ECB, it can’t be Sussex backing him up, it’s got to be Ollie Robinson. We want to hear what has Ollie Robinson learned.’

But former England star Michael Carberry last night questioned Robinson’s future in light of the tweets.

He was stinging in his criticism of Robinson and English cricket, which he says has learned nothing from a year when the game has come under racism allegations.

‘I thought, ‘Here we go again’,’ said Carberry when asked what his reaction was to the emergence of tweets sent by Robinson nine years ago when he was 18.   

Michael Carberry questioned Robinson’s future in cricket after his suspension

Wisden.com chief says new tweet was unearthed after a ‘very, very quick search’ 

The managing editor of the cricket website that unearthed the latest tweet says it was found after a ‘very quick search’. 

Bosses at Wisden.com today denied they had carried out an extensive search of the unnamed player’s account in order to find the post.

‘Honestly we weren’t even hugely looking for this one,’ Wisden.com’s managing editor Ben Gardner told BBC Radio 4.

‘It was a very, very quick search that unearthed this. I would think, all cricketers of any sort of notability would be going through their old tweets and looking very carefully.’

Speaking about the site’s decision not to name the player, he added: ‘I suppose the key difference between this and the Ollie Robinson case is, one, that this player was under the age of 16 at the time of the tweets in question, and also we feel that, in a way, this story is more than just a couple of players’ social media tweets.

‘And (we felt) we wouldn’t want to bring the focus on to just a couple of players, so, we thought that if we could somehow obscure the identity of a cricketer, which we were able to do because we were the first to find this Tweet and bring it to the attention of the England media team, then that then means we could try to shine a light on the wider issues, I suppose.’

‘It backs up what I said last year that the game has a massive problem. And until people start to deal with the problem it’s not going away.

‘Good on the ECB for suspending Ollie Robinson but I would ask more questions. Why was this not picked up on years ago? Why has this guy been allowed to get this far in his career and achieved what he has achieved at the highest level?’

Asked by Sky Sports News whether there should be a policy of zero tolerance and that Robinson, who made his England debut at Lord’s, should not play cricket again, Carberry said: ‘Absolutely. If he wants to rehab he should do it on the sidelines.’

Meanwhile, Former England captain Michael Vaughan also agreed that the ECB had ‘dealt with it correctly.

Speaking on his BBC Radio 5 Live podcast, ‘Tuffers and Vaughan’, he said: ‘They had to act’.

‘I know there was pressure from powers within that they were potentially going to ask him to leave the game after day one and not participate in the remaining four days – I thought that would have been a little over the top.’

Robinson had earlier received backing from the Government when Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden tweeted: ‘Ollie Robinson’s tweets were offensive and wrong. 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.’

But Carberry said: ‘I have no respect for Oliver Dowden’s comments because this is a bloke who has never been discriminated against.’

England coach Chris Silverwood has refused to give Robinson, who faces the threat of further action from the ECB, any guarantees he will play Test cricket again. Sussex, meanwhile, will decide on Tuesday whether Robinson will play in their opening Twenty20 Blast games later this week. 

The ECB has suspended Robinson (pictured) from all international cricket while the body investigates


Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden (pictured right) this morning said the England and Wales Cricket Board has gone ‘over the top’ with the suspension. Meanwhile Conservative minister Zac Goldsmith (pictured left) shared his disapproval at the bowler’s suspension, saying it was ‘completely disproportionate and absurd’. 

 

Boris backs Robinson over ECB suspension

Boris Johnson yesterday gave his backing to England cricket star Ollie Robinson after he was suspended over the tweets.

Downing Street said the PM agrees with minister Oliver Dowden that the ECB has ‘gone over the top’ by suspending the fast-bowler.

Mr Dowden had earlier joined a handful of Tory ministers and MPs who rallied against the ECB’s decision.

But Labour backed the ECB, with shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens saying : ‘It is right that the ECB takes the action that they think is necessary and appropriate to tackle racism and other forms of discrimination in their sport.

‘They should not be criticised for doing so by the Secretary of State.’

It comes as Boris Johnson yesterday gave his backing to England cricket star Ollie Robinson after he was suspended over the tweets.

Downing Street yesterday said that PM agrees with minister Oliver Dowden that the ECB has ‘gone over the top’ by suspending the fast-bowler.

Mr Dowden had earlier joined a handful of Tory ministers and MPs who rallied against the ECB’s decision.

However, Labour have backed the ECB, with shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens saying : ‘It is right that the ECB takes the action that they think is necessary and appropriate to tackle racism and other forms of discrimination in their sport.

‘They should not be criticised for doing so by the Secretary of State.’

The tweets – posted when Robinson was 18 and 19 and playing second team cricket for Kent, Leicestershire and Yorkshire – were dredged up from 2012 and 2013. Earlier he attended £24,750-a-year King’s School in Canterbury.

The Margate-born bowler, who is now 27 and has apologised for his actions, will miss Thursday’s second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston and could face further punishment at the hands of the ECB.

Mr Dowden, posting on Twitter, yesterday criticised the decision to suspend Robinson, saying: ‘Ollie Robinson’s tweets were offensive and wrong. 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.’ 

Yesterday Mr Johnson waded into the debate by backing Mr Dowden, with his official spokesperson saying: ‘Yes. The Prime Minister is supportive of the comments from Oliver Dowden that he made via a tweet this morning.

‘As Oliver Dowden set out, these were comments made more than a decade ago, written by someone as a teenager and for which they have rightly apologised.’

Meanwhile, Mr Goldsmith, the Minister of State for Pacific and the Environment, said: ‘He sent stupid tweets as a teenager, and has apologised profusely. What is to gain in trying to ruin his career over this?’  

‘The Bible of Cricket’: How Wisden earned its prestigious name

First launched by John Wisden in 1864, the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack is, even in today’s digital age, still synonymous with cricket.

Wisden, known as ‘The Little Wonder’, was a well-known cricketer at the time and owned a sports equipment in London. In 1864 he decided to launch an annual Almanack – a book which details information about cricket across the year.

The first edition contained 112 pages – a tiny amount compared to the modern day editions which often run to more than 1,500 pages. The almanack continued to be published throughout the World Wars, meaning it has been published in each of the last 154 years since it was founded.

In the 1930s it earned its nickname as ‘The Bible of Cricket’ – a term used by journalist Alec Waugh in a review for  the London Mercury. Along with the almanac, Wisden has its associated website, Wisden.com – which has a different staff and is owned by a separate company – and the reborn Wisden Cricket Monthly.

He was joined in his criticism of the decision by fellow Tory, George Freeman.

The Mid-Norfolk MP said on Twitter: ‘Seriously? Posting inappropriate tweets when a teenager – for which he’s apologised – is now a disqualifying crime for playing cricket for your country? Seriously??’

It came as on Sunday night the England cricket team announced they had suspended Robinson from all international cricket over the tweets, posted between 2012 and 2013.

Robinson apologised last week, while captain Joe Root described his debutant fast bowler’s behaviour as ‘unacceptable’.

Chief Executive Officer of the ECB Tom Harrison earlier said in a statement: ‘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.’

Robinson will miss Thursday’s second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston, with the potential for further punishment as the ECB’s integrity department try to establish whether he had any form of county contract when he posted the messages on social media in 2012 and 2013.

If he did, his case will be heard by the independent Cricket Discipline Commission. If not, the ECB will take charge.

Either way, he can still play for Sussex, with whom he has a separate employment contract.

The news came less than two hours after a drawn first Test at Lord’s, with Root admitting he ‘couldn’t believe it’ when he was told on Wednesday night about the tweets.

‘Ollie’s learned a hard lesson,’ said the England captain. 

‘It’s unacceptable what he’s done. He’s fronted up to the dressing-room and the world, and shown remorse, but we’ve got to keep looking to learn and educate as much as we can, and make the game as diverse as possible. 

‘We’re not saying the team is perfect, but we’re always trying to improve.’

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