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'Nothing wrong with being gay' - England captain snaps back at Windies star after alleged homophobic taunt

England cricket captain Joe Root has been praised for standing up for the LGBT community and challenging a West Indies bowler over an alleged homophobic taunt during the third Test in St Lucia.

Midway through England's second innings, Root went to speak to teammate Joe Denly in between the creases when he turned to Shannon Gabriel after the Windies bowler appeared to say something to him.

"Don't use it as an insult," the stump mics picked up Root saying.

"There's nothing wrong with being gay."

While Gabriel's comments weren't picked up by the mics, they were enough for the match umpires to lay a charge with the International Cricket Council for a breach of their Code of Conducts.

Gabriel is charged with breaking Article 2.13, Personal abuse of a Player, Player Support Personnel, Umpire or Match Referee during an International Match, and the matter will now be dealt with by match referee Jeff Crowe.

Root's quick response drew plenty of praise from both the cricketing and LGBT community with former England captain Nasser Hussain, who happens to be in St Lucia commentating, taking to social media to express his admiration for Root's stance and actions.

"I don't know who said what to whom...but boy do I applaud Joe Root's reaction here," Hussain wrote on Twitter.

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

Stonewall, a leading UK charity for equality, also appreciated Root's words.

"Language is really influential and it's great if Joe Root was willing to challenge potentially abusive comments," Stonewall's director of sport Kirsty Clarke told Press Association.

"The more players, fans, clubs and organisations that stand up for equality in sport, the sooner we kick discrimination out and make sport everyone's game."

Root, who finished day three 111 not out, briefly addressed the exchange.

"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."


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