Stump mics had picked up an interaction between Gabriel and the England batsmen, which ended when Root stating that "there's nothing wrong with being gay". "There's nothing wrong with being gay", Root appeared to say, before turning his back on the fiery quick.
Shannon Gabriel, the West Indies fast bowler, has been given a four-match suspension by the ICC for his use of an apparently homophobic remark directed towards Joe Root in the St Lucia Test. Gabriel, who pleaded guilty to the offence, was fined 75% of his match fee and received three demerit points, pushing him over the threshold for a ban.
Root refused to reveal what Gabriel said, but explained that "as a player, you feel you have responsibilities to uphold on the field and I stand by what I did", according to The Guardian.
The West Indies cricketer is accused of breaching Article 2.13, which involves "directing language of a personal, insulting, obscene and/or offensive nature" at a player or official. "Until the proceedings have concluded, the ICC will not comment further". Root said at the close that things said on the field "should stay on the field", but nevertheless received praise for his stance, including from United Kingdom equality charity Stonewall.
The charge received by the 30-year-old is under article 2.13 of the ICC's official code of conduct, relating to the personal abuse of a player, player support personnel, umpire or match referee during an worldwide match.
When asked if Gabriel's comment had crossed a line, Root added: "I think it should stay on the field". He's a good guy who plays hard cricket and is proud to be in the position he is. "The battle was a good contest".
Root addressed the matter after the day's play.
"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.
Former England wicketkeeper Steven Davies, who came out as gay in 2011, wrote on Twitter: "There is no room in the game for any form of discrimination...."
West Indies coach Richard Pybus wasn't aware of the incident, but suggested he would take action is they were found to be "untoward".