The Sunday Telegraph

Half of public think stars should not be punished for teen tweets


ATHLETES and celebritie­s should not face repercussi­ons for offensive remarks made in their teens, half of Britons believe.

A poll of 1,500 people found that 49 per cent disagreed that sports figures and others should face “negative consequenc­es” for views expressed as teenagers and later recanted.

Some 45 per cent said they approved of the Culture Secretary’s condemnati­on of the England Cricket Board (ECB) for suspending Ollie Robinson, the England cricketer, for historical sexist and racist tweets, compared with 23 per cent who disapprove­d.

The findings, in a survey by Redfield & Wilton Strategies, suggest that the ECB may have been out of step with public opinion when it suspended Robinson, 27, last week following a furore over comments he posted at 18 and 19.

Asked about the incident, 35 per cent said they opposed Robinson’s suspension, 32 per cent supported the temporary ban from playing for England, and 21 per cent had no view either way.

The poll surveyed opinion on a series of matters in which ministers have intervened over perceived “culture wars”.

It found that 44 per cent of people disagree with statues of historical figures being taken down if their views or actions are now considered unacceptab­le, compared with 30 per cent who thought they should be removed.

Separately a majority of 53 per cent said they opposed the use of genderneut­ral terms in place of words such as “mother”.

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