Blackpool defender Marvin Ekpiteta has apologized for historic homophobic social media posts that have embarrassed him following the exit of team-mate Jake Daniels.
The 17-year-old Blackpool striker came out publicly on Mondaybecoming the first openly gay male footballer in Britain to do so while playing since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
Following Daniels’ announcement, which had been greeted with broad supporthomophobic posts posted by Ekpiteta from 2012 and 2013 were highlighted.
Ekpiteta, 26, later deleted the offending posts and issued an unqualified apology on Tuesday evening expressing regret for his actions a decade ago “which in no way reflect the values I stand for now”.
“Today the messages I posted on social media in 2012 and 2013 were highlighted,” the defender said in a statement on Twitter.
“I would like to sincerely apologize for the offensive and completely inappropriate language I used, and for the feelings I expressed.
“As a footballer, and in the years I spent working, before becoming a professional player, I was fortunate enough to work with a wide range of people. Throughout this period, I developed and grew in as a person.
“Yesterday I was proud of Jake and everyone involved at Blackpool FC for what is a hugely positive moment for football as a whole.
“I am embarrassed by comments I made at age 17, almost a decade ago, which in no way reflect the values I currently hold or the beliefs I hold as a person or as a as a teammate.
“Football should be a place where everyone can feel free to be true to themselves, and I’m upset that the comments I’ve made previously suggest otherwise.
“I take full responsibility for these messages, and I’m sorry.”