West Indies Gabriel Charged by ICC over Alleged Homophobic Remark

Joe Root has been hailed by anti-discrimination campaigners for his response to potentially homophobic comments by West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel.
West Indies Gabriel Charged by ICC over Alleged Homophobic Remark

West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel was charged with a breach of conduct by the ICC on Tuesday after allegedly making a homophobic remark in an exchange with England captain Joe Root during the third Test.

Gabriel has been charged by the International Cricket Council for his altercation with Root, which happened as he scored his 16th Test century during the third day in St Lucia to put England in a match-winning position in the third Test.

Stump microphones picked up an interaction on the third day in St Lucia between Gabriel and Root, in which the latter responded: "Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay."

The ICC, cricket's governing body, said Gabriel had been charged with a breach of its code of conduct in relation to the "personal abuse" of a player, umpire or match referee.

Gabriel has had a running feud with Root and Ben Stokes throughout the series. At one stage on Monday the umpires intervened and warned Gabriel about his language while Root was batting.

Stump microphones picked up Root responding to a comment from Gabriel but not what the West Indies fast bowler had said to spark the confrontation.

An ICC statement read: "Shannon Gabriel has been charged with a breach Article 2.13 of the ICC Code of Conduct. The charge, which was laid by match umpires, will now be dealt with by Match Referee Jeff Crowe. Until the proceedings have concluded, the ICC will not comment further."

Gabriel already has three demerit points on his disciplinary record and if found guilty this will take him to six or seven (depending on the finding of the match referee) which would equate to a two-Test ban or four one-day internationals.

Steve Davies, the Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman who played eight one-dayers for England and who came out as gay in 2011, praised Root. "There is no room in the game for any form of discrimination," he said. "Well done Joe Root and England. Respect."

Alastair Cook, who is in St Lucia working for the BBC, said Gabriel had gone too far if it is proven he used homophobic language.

Homosexuality is illegal in 13 of the 17 Caribbean countries that make up the West Indies, including St Lucia. Gabriel is from Trinidad where only last year the High Court overturned legislation outlawing same-sex relationships.

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