England captain Joe Root has received high praise and applause across sections for his stand against a homophobic remark passed by West Indies bowler Shannon Gabriel during a verbal exchange.
Stump microphones picked up an exchange on the third day of the third Test in St Lucia between Gabriel and Root, in which the latter responded: "Don't use it as an insult. There's nothing wrong with being gay."
Gabriel was charged with a breach of conduct by the ICC after allegedly making the alleged homophobic remark in the exchange.
Root received applause on social media for his stance.
UK Sports Minister Mims Davies wrote on Twitter: "What a Leader, Ambassador and HUGE RESPECT for doing the absolute right thing to properly call this out!"
"He is completely right as there simply is NO place in any sport, at any level for discrimination, intolerance and prejudice," Davies further wrote on her Twitter account.
Former England cricketer Nasser Hussain said Root's reaction would help cement his legacy.
“I don’t know who said what to whom … but boy do I applaud Joe Root’s reaction here. For me his twelve words as a role model will be in the end more important than a test hundred or possible victory,” Hussain tweeted.
Root also received praise from others on the micro-blogging site.
One More Commander Home Command @UrchTyrone tweeted: “Great work Joe Root @ECB_cricket; @BritishArmy values all here in spades: Courage, Discipline, Respect for Others, Integrity, Loyalty, Selfless Commitment.”
One Sheila Larkin @SheilaPortobelo said it in a few words: “Joe Root is a class act.”
Oldmantri wrote on his handle @oldmantri : “Sometimes all it takes is a few calm words to make the world a better place. Joe Root, proud example of what is right in sport.”
England captain Joe Root has been praised by Stonewall, the UK's leading LGBT equality charity, for his remark.
"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.
"Stonewall research shows more than half of British people (58 per cent) believe it's important anti-LGBT language is challenged at live sporting events," Kirsty Clarke, director of sport at Stonewall told Sky Sports.
Root’s response also got applauded in newspaper columns across England.
“Joe Root’s retort was natural, organic and rather wonderful, columnist Mathew Syed wrote in The Times.
“Joe Root showed "integrity and leadership" in his response to a comment from Shannon Gabriel, wrote Ebony Rainford-Brent in The BBC.
Root has set an example for cricketers, present and future, making it clear that homophobia has no place in the Gentleman’s Game.