Joe Root tells rival bowler: 'There's nothing wrong with being gay'

Seamer Keemo Paul struck with the first ball of the day

Root was overheard saying "there's nothing wrong with being gay" as he reacted to something that Gabriel said which was not picked up by microphones in the on-field incident on day three of the third Test in Saint Lucia yesterday.

"There is nothing wrong with being gay", Root can be heard telling Gabriel.

The England captain added that the bowler is "a good guy who plays hard cricket and is proud to be in the position he is".

Gabriel was charged with a Level Two offence under article 2.13 of the ICC's Code of Conduct, covering "personal abuse". "Until the proceedings have concluded, the ICC will not comment further".

Root received praise for his response to Gabriel, made in the process of compiling a century, with fellow sportsmen, politicians and LGBT equality charity Stonewall all applauding his stance.

'West Indies have played some fantastic cricket, they are a good bunch of guys and it would be a shame if it tarnishes what has been a good, hard-fought series.

Joe Root, who was involved in the exchange with Gabriel said that he "might regret" some of the things he said but refused to elaborate on what those comments might be.


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.

The charge received by the 30-year-old is under article 2.13 of the ICC's official code of conduct, relating to the personal abuse of a player, player support personnel, umpire or match referee during an worldwide match. He's had a wonderful series and he should be proud.

I think everybody should take notes from Joe Root and use this comeback to shut down homophobic slurs both on and off the field.

Former England wicketkeeper Steven Davies, who came out as gay in 2011, wrote on Twitter: "There is no room in the game for any form of discrimination...."

"For me his twelve words as a role model will be in the end more important than a test hundred or possible victory".

West Indies coach Richard Pybus said there have been no reports of abusive language but will investigate if any are made.

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