Cricketer Jack Brooks to undergo training on diversity as he is reprimanded by Somerset over historical tweets

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Somerset County Cricket Club have reprimanded Jack Brooks – who will be required to undergo training on diversity – over historical tweets he sent that included racist language.

In 2012, in response to fast bowler Tymal Mills tweeting about England winning a series in Sri Lanka, Brooks tweeted: "Cheers N****".

He sent an identical tweet to Stewart Laudat the same year.

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In a statement, Brooks said: "I acknowledge that the language used in two tweets I made in 2012 was unacceptable and I deeply regret using it.

"I unreservedly apologise for any offence caused to anybody who may have seen these tweets."

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The matter was investigated by Somerset, which on Thursday said in a statement that it had "decided to reprimand Jack, remind him of his responsibilities and require him to participate in extensive training on Equality, Diversity and Inclusivity".

The club said it had spoken with Brooks at length about "the nature and content of his comments", adding the player was "embarrassed and devastated that his comments offended people".

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"There is no doubt that these comments are unacceptable," the club said. "Somerset CCC condemn the use of language which has any racist connotations."

It continued: "Whilst they were made nearly a decade ago when he was less mature, the content of the posts was wrong and not in accordance with his personal values.

"Jack has engaged honestly and openly throughout the investigation and unreservedly apologises for his past errors."

It added: "The club is extremely disappointed to hear that Jack and his partner have this week been in receipt of threatening posts on social media. These have been reported to the relevant authorities for further investigation."

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Laudat, who played for Oxfordshire, has tweeted in defence of Brooks.

He said he understood that things said in the past were now under "increased scrutiny and rightly so if we are to address all forms of discrimination".

However, he added: "But without context, misunderstandings and misconceptions are easily made.

"It upsets me that Jacks character is being questioned over this tweet because I've known him for a long time and have never been made to feel uncomfortable in any conversations we've had.

"I consider Jack to be a good friend and a credit to his family and his profession."

Brooks, 37, was one of a number of players named by Azeem Rafiq in his testimony to MPs this week in which he talked about racism at Yorkshire County Cricket Club and within the sport as a whole.

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Rafiq said Brooks would call India batter Cheteshwar Pujara "Steve" even though Pujara preferred him not to.

Brooks responded: "With reference to my naming in Azeem Rafiq's statement to MPs this week, the use of the name "Steve" related to some people having difficult names to pronounce.

"When this has occurred in the past in a dressing room environment, it has been commonplace to give nicknames, regardless of creed or race.

"I admit to having used it in this context and now accept that it was disrespectful and wrong to do so.

"I have reached out and apologised to Cheteshwar for any offence that I have caused him or his family.

"At the time I didn't recognise this as racist behaviour, but I can now see that it was not acceptable."

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