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Blackpool’s Marvin Ekpiteta apologises for ‘offensive and inappropriate’ tweets

Blackpool’s Marvin Ekpiteta apologises for ‘offensive and inappropriate’ tweets which resurfaced since teammate Jake Daniels came out at gay.

26 year old defender Ekpiteta has said sorry for historical homophobic social media posts which have left him embarrassed in the wake of Daniels’ coming out interview.

On Monday, the 17-year-old Blackpool forward publicly became the first openly gay male footballer in Britain to do so while still playing since the late Justin Fashanu in 1990.

Following Daniels’ announcement, which had been greeted with widespread support, homophobic posts made by Ekpiteta from 2012 and 2013 were discovered.

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Ekpiteta subsequently got rid of the offending posts once found and on Tuesday evening issued an unreserved apology expressing regret for his actions a decade ago “which do not in any way reflect the values I hold now”.

“Today, social media posts I made in 2012 and 2013 have been highlighted,” he said in a statement on Twitter.

“I want to wholeheartedly apologise for the offensive and completely inappropriate language I used, and for the sentiments I expressed.

“As a footballer, and in the years spent in work, before I became a professional player, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with a wide and diverse range of people. Throughout this period, I have developed and grown as a person.

“Yesterday, I was proud of Jake and all involved at Blackpool FC for what is a hugely positive moment for football as a whole.

“I am embarrassed by the comments I made as a 17-year-old, nearly a decade ago, which do not in any way reflect the values I hold now or the beliefs I have as a person or as a team-mate.

“Football needs to be a place where everyone can feel free to be true to themselves, and I am upset that the comments I previously made suggest otherwise.

“I take full responsibility for these posts, and I am sorry.”

An FA Spokesperson said: “We are aware of the comments made on social media and will be investigating the matter.”

Ekpiteta got rid of the tweets on his account shortly after they were brought to his attention with one showing three clapping emojis in support of the news that Nigeria had outlawed gay marriage.

Another post saw him criticise the number of gay characters in TV soap Hollyoaks.

Jake Daniels’ decision to come out as the UK’s only openly gay active male professional footballer will “help break down barriers” in society, says the Duke of Cambridge.

And even so, it’s a real shame to see various Twitter accounts and media outlets such as Sky Sports having to disable the comments section to prevents abuse taking place.

The 17 year old Blackpool forward spoke of the “relief” he has felt in publicly revealing his sexuality on Monday.

His announcement was praised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, England captain Harry Kane and several charity groups.

“Football should be a game for everyone,” said Prince William.

Writing on Twitter, the FA president added: “What Jake has done takes courage and will hopefully help break down barriers that have no place in our society.

“I hope his decision to speak openly gives others the confidence to do the same.”

On Monday, Gary Lineker told BBC Sport that Daniels had laid a “path many others will follow”.

“I think he will be massively accepted,” he said.

“Not just in his own dressing room but players he plays against. I think, overall, dressing rooms wouldn’t think about it. They will consider if you’re a good footballer or not – that’s all that matters.

“I’m so pleased as I think he is going down a path many others will follow and I think the game will be better for it. Once they see that the overwhelming majority of people will be accepting, others will follow suit.”

Lineker goes on to say Daniels’ announcement “shouldn’t be significant” and that football should have “passed this watershed moment a long time ago”.

Daniels has already opened up on the prospect of homophobic abuse by saying that supporters can “shout what you want, it’s not going to make a difference”.

Campaign group Kick it Out congratulated Daniels for a “historic” announcement, adding: “We need to remember there is a young man at the heart of it. A young man who should not have to be defined by this one moment, or this one part of his identity.”

Twitter users reacted as Blackpool’s Marvin Ekpiteta apologises for ‘offensive and inappropriate’ tweets…

@tangerinedan: Who didn’t say stuff they now regret as a teenager? A decade is a lot of growing, maturing, understanding and empathising. We’re all human. Look at the man you are now.

@Chrisharrison2: I for one will not hold tweets that a naive 17 year old tweeted 10 years ago against you mate. It’s what you feel and values you hold now that matter and like you said you’ve grown as a person. Well done for fronting up. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 🥚🥔🍊

@ReeceNuttall_: Very well said. As a Preston fan, it’s great to share in the love for Jake as he came out yesterday, and I did see the tweets that had been resurfaced, and I reserved judgment until i hear from you statement wise. Can’t see there being any issues going forward, keep moving on. I’m sure we’ve all said and done things from a very uneducated and narrow minded place on the past, and considering you’ve turned around and stated you have grown as a person, there can’t be any ill feelings. Respect x

@tangerine_jord: It’s done Marv. We were all uneducated at 16, admitted your faults and we move on…

@itstangerine: History is history Marv and that’s where it belongs, people change and grow through the years. The fact that some sad person has taken time to try and cause you a problem, is probably motivated by jealousy.

@BISONS1973: Enough said. Job done. Roll on next season.🍊

@toptargets: Dont know what was said and dont need to. Marvin has always shown himself to be a great human being and for me having to apologise for things we said or did as teenagers is ridiculous but credit to Big Marv for doing just that.

@53BFC53: Everyone says something they wish they hadn’t when they were younger, it’s part of growing up. You’ve owned and apologised for something that should never have resurfaced. We move on. 🧡🤍

@claytoniix99: We all done and said foolish things when we were younger , everyone makes mistakes , what’s important is that you learn from your mistakes and become a better man .

@seasidegeorge: Glad that you have apologised and admitted that you were wrong. That takes some courage. We all make mistakes when young. It’s what happens now that counts.

@MikeJacko1953: Well done Marv for standing up and apologising for your mistakes . What you said all those years back doesn’t define you, pure class from you here 👏🏼👏🏼🍊

@richard_rattus: We’ve all made mistakes in life, Marv. It’s how we put them right that matters. And you’ve done that here. You’re a different person now, of that I’m absolutely sure. And we love you as we love Jake. 🍊🍊🍊 UTMP.

@EmmaFPL: An actual sincere apology!! Nice to see rather than the normal scripted ones. So many people at 17 said silly things.

@cooksleft: Good lad. Everyone has said or done shit they wish they hadn’t. All we can do is try to be decent/kind now and in the future. Just as summat good you did ten years ago doesn’t give you the right to be knobhead now, something daft you did then, doesn’t make you one now either.

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