Root was on his way to a 16th Test century when he responded to an outburst from Gabriel by telling the Windies paceman 'don't use it as an insult... there's nothing wrong with being gay'.
Gabriel's part of the conversation was not picked up by the stump microphone but the Trinidadian was spoken to by at least one of the on-field umpires, Kumar Dharmasena and Rod Tucker, about his language.
Root was unwilling to be drawn into the specifics of the exchange but said he was satisfied by how he dealt with the situation.
'They are a good bunch of guys and it would be a shame if this tarnishes it.
I think everybody should take notes from Joe Root and use this comeback to shut down homophobic slurs both on and off the field. "I think you should leave it there".
"You can see that in the way he approaches the game and that's how I feel about it as well".
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Speaking after finishing day three 111 not out, Root gave a measured assessment of the on-field exchange. "The battle was a good contest, he's had a wonderful series and he should be proud".
Gabriel was banned for four matches by the ICC after allegedly calling Root a "b***y boy".
Gabriel, 30, had accepted a charge for breaching the International Cricket Council's code of conduct on Wednesday and was banned for the first four one-day internationals against England that begin on Wednesday. "What [prayer] have you got her to say for you today?"
Kirsty Clarke, director of sport at Stonewall - which campaigns for lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality - told Press Association Sport: "Language is really influential and it's great if Joe Root was willing to challenge potentially abusive comments".
Hussain tweeted about the alleged sledging incident: "I don't know who said what to whom. but boy do I applaud Joe Root's reaction here".
"With the addition of these three demerit points, he has reached the threshold of eight demerit points, which, pursuant to article 7.6 of the Code, have been converted into four suspension points".
After the drubbing in the first two Test matches, England have finally found form in the 3rd Test against West Indies at St Lucia.