The Ashes 2013-14 December 19, 2013

Swann apologises for rape comment

ESPNcricinfo staff

Graeme Swann has apologised after admitting making "crass and thoughtless" comments via social media.

Swann, who has endured a miserable series, equated England's Ashes defeat to Australia with being raped. That led to widespread condemnation and a subsequent apology and retraction from Swann.

The comments were made after Swann posted a reply to his brother's status update on Facebook. Replying to a posting from Alec Swann, the former Northamptonshire and Lancashire batsman who had attended a gig by the band Shed Seven, Graeme Swann wrote: "Rather have been there than being a**e raped in Perth!"

The remarks, which were publicly visible on Alec Swann's Facebook page, soon spread far and wide and were quickly condemned.

Yvonne Traynor, the chief executive of Rape Crisis, told the Daily Telegraph: "We are appalled that Graeme Swann equates a cricket match with the devastatingly serious crime of rape. It is the duty of a people in the public eye to make sure that their own distorted views are kept to themselves and not shared with the general public. These comments lack compassion and intelligence and he should apologise to anyone who has suffered from this heinous crime."

Swann took to Twitter to issue an apology. "Sorry to anyone who was offended by my comments in the papers today," he posted. "Crass and thoughtless of me in the extreme."

The ECB subsequently confirmed that they will take no action against Swann and that he made the apology of his own volition.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on December 21, 2013, 16:05 GMT

    It's the cricket equivalent of the Hodgson/Townsend thing in football.

  • Sammy on December 20, 2013, 3:24 GMT

    It's not just the english players, but their fans share the same feeling too.

  • Andrew on December 20, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    Feel really sorry for Swann. I cannot bag a bloke for saying what I would of said to mates if I was in the same situation. @Kassery on (December 19, 2013, 9:32 GMT) - too true. He could of said they "flippin' murdered us" - & nobody would of said anything. I mean does anybody truly think that Swann would mean to trivialize that particular crime? That said -pro sportsmen should probably stay off twitter/facebook etc. Not worth the grief!

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2013, 0:26 GMT

    Ridiculous. It's just a figure of speech, people use it all the time when talking about sports defeats. Of course he's not literally equating it with rape, and the fact that he has to apologize for it is just PC gone mad.

  • Graham on December 20, 2013, 0:11 GMT

    This is not a social issue thing, this is the world gone crazy. He was just descibing the gravity of the defeat. If he used the words murdered, butchered, slaughtered, killed, all of which are series crimes there would have been no fuss made. It was crass, but in the context it was used it was just an abjective describing the size of defeat. Yvonne Traynor has missed the point and the world has gone stark raving mad.

  • Mark on December 19, 2013, 23:43 GMT

    If you live in the UK you get to see such emotional over the top screeching and wailing about folks off the cuff comments on an almost daily basis. It has got to the point some people equate such comments with serious crime. I for one would be more peeved if he had said he enjoyed being beaten by Australia!

  • Patrick on December 19, 2013, 21:51 GMT

    Disappointing so many here are attempting to underplay & dismiss Swann's stupidity, all players receive extensive media & with a a strong focus on social these days. Forget sporting talent, with all that money comes some social responsibility, as the old saying goes, best to stay silent and let people think you are stupid than to post proof on Facebook that you're thicker than Dave Warner. Unlike many here at least Swann has retracted & apologised, a fat donation to a crisis centre wouldn't go astray from someone who's earned millions playing a game for a living.

  • Shanmugam on December 19, 2013, 20:51 GMT

    C'mon, why are people blowing this out of proportion?

  • siddharth on December 19, 2013, 15:43 GMT

    so true guys just hope the english can win the ashes back at home and hope this back to back ashes is a once off cos its obviously taken its toll.

  • Michael on December 19, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    This really highlights the 'sadness' and general shortcomings of social media. There is always someone ready to pounce on an indiscretion and magnify it out of all proportion. It would have been worse if he had said he was actually enjoying himself in Perth. Seriously this says more about the world we live in than about Swann. Privacy is becoming all too rare.

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