Former England opener Michael Carberry has backed the ECB's decision of suspending Ollie Robinson from all international cricket pending an inquiry after historic racist and sexist tweets were unearthed last week, and believes the fast bowler shouldn't have been allowed to graduate to the highest level in the first place.
Robinson's tweets resurfaced last Wednesday, the first day of his Test debut at Lord's, against New Zealand. In a fine debut performance at the Mecca of Cricket, he took seven wickets in the match. At the close of the first day's play, the 27-year-old apologised and said he was going through a difficult period in his life when he posted the racist tweets as an 18-year-old.
However, his apology was not enough as the ECB suspended him after the end of the first Test while initiating a disciplinary investigation. Robinson will not be available for the second Test against New Zealand, which begins at Edgbaston on Thursday.
"Here we go again. It further backs up what I said last year, that the game has a massive problem. Until people start to deal with the problem, I am one of those - and I can speak for most of my community - we are not interested in proposals or what cricket is proposing to do," Carberry, who has represented England in all three formats, told Sky Sports News.
"We need to start seeing action. Good on the ECB for suspending Ollie Robinson. I have got some other questions on that - why was this not picked up on years ago? Why has this guy been allowed to get this far in his career, and achieve what he's achieved at the highest level? It's a disappointment to me. Why are we not affecting our young professional cricketers better than what I am seeing right now?"
On Monday, Oliver Dowden, the UK government's secretary for culture, sports, digital and media, said the ECB has gone "over the top" in its punishment of Robinson. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's spokesperson too said that the PM is "supportive" of the culture secretary's view. However, Carberry said he has "no respect" for Dowden's comments.
"I think Oliver Dowden needs to come and spend a day with me and live a day in my shoes, and a day in the shoes of most BAME community people, and actually speak from a place of facts and reason," said Carberry.
"Marcus Rashford only two or three weeks ago was trying to do some good in the world, using his platforms and various means. He's trying to do some good in the world for kids of all colours, all races, all backgrounds. He's trying to do some good, (and he) gets racially abused - I don't hear Oliver Dowden piping up.
"So as far as I am concerned I have no respect for what his comments are about. He has never been racially abused, he's never been racially discriminated against, so as far as I see it, it's coming from a place of no facts or no reason."