Root to Gabriel: ‘There’s nothing wrong with being gay’

Joe Root Shannon Gabriel

West Indies fast bowler Shannon Gabriel appears to have used homophobic language during day three of the third Test against England.

Sky Sports’ coverage didn’t pick up what Gabriel said but did record England captain Joe Root’s reaction to it. “Don’t use it as an insult,” Root says. “There’s nothing wrong with being gay.”

Gabriel was reportedly spoken to by at least one of the on-field umpires, Kumar Dharmasena and Rod Tucker, about his language.

Root, who steered England into a dominant position with an unbeaten 111, was asked about the incident at the close.

While unwilling to get into specifics, he did indicate Gabriel may have said something he “might regret”.

Root said: “It’s Test cricket, 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.

“He’s a good guy who plays hard cricket and is proud to be in the position he is. The battle was a good contest, he’s had a wonderful series and he should be proud.”

Windies coach Richard Pybus was unaware of any controversy immediately after the day’s play, telling the BBC: “Nothing has been reported to me but if a comment was made we’ll review it and if it was untoward we’ll be addressing it.”