Joe Root slams Shannon Gabriel for alleged homophobic slur in England vs West Indies Test
England captain Joe Root has drawn widespread praise for calling out West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel after he allegedly made a homophobic slur.
- Joe Root responded to an alleged homophobic slur made by Shannon Gabriel
- Root was widely applauded on social media for his comments to Gabriel
- Gabriel was charged by the ICC with a breach of its code of conduct
Gabriel made a comment to Root during the third Test in Saint Lucia that was not audible to television viewers.
But according to British broadcaster Sky Sports, Root was heard replying to Gabriel: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay”.
Gabriel was later charged with breaching the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) code of conduct.
Joe Root was overheard telling Shannon Gabriel “there’s nothing wrong with being gay”. (Reuters: Paul Childs)
Root declined to elaborate on the specifics of the verbal altercation and was asked again about the incident after England won the final Test by 232 runs, although West Indies claimed the series 2-1.
“As a player you feel you have responsibilities to uphold on the field and I stand by what I did,” Root said.
“The ICC have got to handle things and I am not in a position to comment but throughout the series it has been played in the right manner between the two sides.
“West Indies have played some fantastic cricket, they are a good bunch of guys and it would be a shame if it tarnishes it.”
Root’s actions were applauded on social media, with former England captain Nasser Hussain saying Root’s reaction would help cement his legacy.
“For me his twelve words as a role model will be in the end more important than a test hundred or possible victory,” Hussain tweeted.
UK Sport Minister Mims Davies was among others who praised Root for his stance.
“What a Leader, Ambassador and HUGE RESPECT for doing the absolute right thing to properly call this out!” Ms Davies said on her Twitter account.
“He is completely right as there simply is NO place in any sport, at any level for discrimination, intolerance and prejudice.”
Umpires Rod Tucker and Kumar Dharmasena spoke to Gabriel after the finish of the Test and he was charged with breaching Article 2.13 of the ICC’s code of conduct.
“The charge, which was laid by match umpires, will now be dealt with by Match Referee Jeff Crowe,” the ICC said in a statement.
“Until the proceedings have concluded, the ICC will not comment further.”
Article 2.13 addresses personal, insulting, obscene or offensive language directed at other players or match officials.