Cricketer Shannon Gabriel gets four games ban for ‘gay’ jibe at Joe Root

West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel

West Indies’ cricket bowler Shannon Gabriel has been banned for the first four one-day internationals against England over comments he made to England captain Joe Root about gay people.

Gabriel, 30, has accepted a charge from International Cricket Council over the remarks he made to Root, who was praised for his response, during the third test in St Lucia, reports the BBC. 

On-pitch microphones during Tuesday’s (February 12) test match picked up Root’s reply to the bowler, but failed to record what Gabriel had initially said.

Shannon Gabriel accepts charge for “gay” comment to England captain Joe Root

Responding to Gabriel, Root can be heard saying: “Don’t use it as an insult. There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”

Gabriel was charged under article 2.13, relating to the personal abuse of a player, player support staff, and umpire during an international match.

He accepted the charge and was fined 75 percent of his match fee, as well as picking up three demerit points.

The two teams were playing in Saint Lucia, where those found guilty of having gay sex can face up to 10 years in prison.

Root declined to reveal what Gabriel had said in an interview after the close of play, telling Sky News: “It’s Test cricket.”

Joe Root of England complains of chest pain during Day Four of the Third Test match between the West Indies and England at Darren Sammy Cricket Ground on February 12, 2019 in Gros Islet, Saint Lucia

Joe Root told Shannon Gabriel not to use ‘gay’ as an insult (Shaun Botterill/Getty)

Root added: “He’s an emotional guy trying to do everything he can to win a Test match.

“Sometimes people say things on the field that they might regret, but they should stay on the field.”

England captain Joe Root says he did “what I thought was right” in response to Shannon Gabriel’s remarks

The England cricket captain, whose team beat West Indies by 232 runs on Tuesday, explained to the Guardian“I just did what I thought was right.”

“It felt appropriate to act how I did,” he added.

The sportsman has been widely praised for his response to Shannon’s initial remark.

Root was commended for his on-field remarks by Stonewall‘s director of sport Kirsty Clarke, who told PinkNews: “Tackling offensive language is a crucial part of helping LGBT people feel welcome in sport.

“Language is really influential and it’s great Joe Root stepped up to challenge abusive comments.”