British soccer player Andre Gray has been suspended and fined after an investigation into “abusive and insulting” tweets he posted in 2012.
Following the investigation by the English Football Association (FA) the 25-year-old Gray was suspended for four games and fined over $32,000. The Burnley player posted a series of tweets disparaging women, gays, and others, the investigation found.
“It was alleged that six postings on his Twitter account were abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute contrary to Rule E3(1),” FA officials said in a statement posted to the league website.
The tweets referencing sexual orientation, gender, color, and race were deemed a breach of the rules.
“The player admitted to three of the breaches, and denied the remaining three were in breach of FA Rules,” the FA added.
The player did not fight the final ruling and said in a statement that when he posted the offensive tweets in 2012 it was at a “very different point in my life back then.”
Two of the more egregious tweets said, “Is it me or are there gays everywhere? #Burn #Die #MakesMeSick” and “Ladies stop dressin your sons as women in heels and make up… do you want them to end up like #PeteBurns.”
The Burnley club also posted a statement about the actions reading in part:
Burnley Football Club and Gray accept the Independent Regulatory Commission’s decision, which relate to historical posts made before Andre joined the club in August, 2015.
We believe this charge, regarding historical social media posts, should now also serve as a warning to all professional footballers, and participants in the wider sporting field.
The club ended its statement saying it would make no further statements on the incident.
Along with the fine and suspension Gray was also ordered to attend an FA education course on racism and abuse.
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