Joe Root: England captain praised for reaction to Shannon Gabriel

Joe Root

England captain Joe Root has been praised for his "integrity and leadership" after telling West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel not to use "gay as an insult".

Gabriel's original comment was not picked up on microphones but Sky Sports published a clip of Root, 28, telling him: "Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay."

Gabriel has since been charged by the International Cricket Council with breaching its code of conduct.

Since the clip emerged, people have been have been sharing their thoughts on social media:

Rugby union referee and activist Nigel Owens said Root delivered his response with dignity.

Nigel Owens

Former England captain Nasser Hussain felt Root's words of more value than any result on a scorecard.


Team GB's Olympic gold medal winning hockey captain Kate Richardson-Walsh also praised Root for being an "LGBTQ ally".


Somerset wicketkeeper Steve Davies, who revealed he was gay in 2011, expressed his appreciation.

Steve Davies

There were also responses from Test Match Special listeners, amateur players and the LGBT community.

Pete Exley
Robert Dewick
Kat Young

Tailenders presenter and The Maccabees guitarist Felix White showed how the moment surpassed the world of cricket.

Fleix White

A number of people felt, no matter how important Root's actions, more action was needed.

Mark via SMS: It's great he countered the comment but an official complaint should have been made. I wonder if the sledging had been racist in nature would it have been dismissed so casually.

Beth in Oxford (via SMS): I want to take a moment to thank Joe Root for standing up yesterday and showing young LGBT kids that there is a place in cricket for them. But that sentiment also requires this to be followed up correctly.

Patrick in Oxford (via SMS): "I'm another person who is incredibly proud to have Joe Root as captain of my county's cricket team after yesterday's incident. However, it's worth remembering that LGBTQ+ people face serious legal discrimination on all three of the islands these test matches have been played on. They can face up to 10 years in prison in certain circumstances. Perhaps it's time to shine a light on this aspect?

Despite such misgivings, the overwhelming tone of the reaction to Root's response was positive:


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