England spinner Graeme Swann has apologised for what he described as a “crass and thoughtless” comment that appeared on social media where he described the Ashes defeat to Australia as comparable to rape.
Swann’s comment appeared on his brother Alec Swann’s Facebook page, claiming he would rather be at home at a concert with his sibling that being “a***-raped in Perth” as England conceded the Ashes trophy within the opening three Tests.
The 34-year-old right-arm bowler was soon under-fire due to Alec’s page being openly accessible for the public to see due to his privacy settings, and calls for an immediate apology soon followed.
Swann took to his personal Twitter account to apologise for his comment, but that did not prevent a number of areas heavily criticising the three-time Ashes winner.
“Sorry to anyone who was offended by my comments in the papers today. Crass and thoughtless of me in the extreme,” Swann posted.
He had already been slammed by the chief executive of the charity Rape Crisis Yvonne Taylor, who said she was “appalled” by Swann’s words and that he was lacking “compassion and intelligence”.
“We are appalled that Graeme Swann equates a cricket match with the devastatingly serious crime of rape,” Taylor told reporters from various newspapers.
“It is the duty of a people in the public eye to make sure 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.”
The latest controversy comes on what is quickly becoming a Tour of Hell for England Down Under, with many former players claiming that defeat in the remaining two Tests would result in a series defeat far worse than the 5-0 whitewash of 2006-07.
England headed into this series as favourites following the 3-0 triumph earlier in the summer over the same opposition, but a comprehensive defeat in the First Test in Brisbane was compounded by the departure of batsman Jonathan Trott after the revelation that he was suffering from a stress-related illness.
Their tormentor in-chief was the rejuvenated Mitchell Johnson, who had returned to form despite his Test career verging on the point of no return after a poor run of form. Johnson, along with the rest of the Australian bowlers, tore England’s batting line-up apart, while captain Michael Clarke and opening batsman David Warner have dominated at the crease.
The result saw England concede the Ashes before the famous Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground got underway, leaving the tourists embarrassed and raising serious questions over the future of captain Alastair Cook and coach Andy Flower, along with a number of regular’s that have stood in the England line-up for a number of years.