Words: Jamie Tabberer; picture: Wiki
Professional footballer Sebastian Lletget is under Major League Soccer investigation after using an anti-gay slur last week.
The LA Galaxy midfielder used the derogatory Spanish term to describe teammate Julian Araujo in a now-deleted Instagram video on Friday.
In the clip, Lletget is seen slapping Araujo on the neck and yelling "puto" - a homophobic term often chanted by fans at football games.
"We are aware of the use of a homophobic slur by an L.A. Galaxy player"
In an apology statement issued to OutSports, the 28-year-old said: “I messed up. Earlier today, I posted a video that included me using a derogatory slur in Spanish.
“I have taken down a video from my Instagram Story but want to address its impact and not hide from this. I take full responsibility and ownership on what was an extremely poor and ill-thought phrase and have no excuse for my actions. I am sorry and know the pain that this term has caused for so many.
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“I want to be part of the solution — not part of the problem — and continue to be an advocate and an ally for the LGBTQ+ community. Those who know me know my character and heart. I will remain outspoken in my support and advocacy. My error doesn’t change that.
“Thanks for your accountability. I need to do and be better.”
In a statement, an MLS spokesperson said: "Major League Soccer is committed to providing an environment in which all individuals are treated with dignity and respect, and we have no tolerance for discrimination and prejudice of any kind. We are aware of the use of a homophobic slur by an L.A. Galaxy player.
"MLS has begun a formal investigation regarding the language used by the player and more information will be provided as soon as it becomes available."