Cricket: Joe Root and homophobic remarks

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

Even the traditionally genteel game of cricket is not immune from racism and homophobia!

Recently, Sarfraz Ahmed, the Pakistan captain, was sanctioned for racist remarks against a South African player. Although the player accepted Ahmed’s apology, the International Cricket Council (ICC) did not let the matter pass and imposed a four-match ban on him.

Earlier this week, West Indies fast bowler, Shannon Gabriel, has been charged by the ICC with using “language of a personal, insulting, obscene and/or offence nature” after calling the England captain, Joe Root, “gay”, in the course of a heated altercation during the third and final Test in Saint Lucia.

Gabriel admitted the charge and also received a four-match ban for these remarks from the ICC.

Joe Root has received widespread praise for his measured response of:  “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”

It is right that the ICC follows a zero-tolerance policy against any racist and homophobic remarks, for which there is no place whatsoever in cricket or, indeed, in any other sport!

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’