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Little Mix star dating Premier League footballer banned for saying gays should ‘burn’

By Samuel McManus

Little Mix star Leigh-Anne Pinnock is reportedly in a relationship with the Andre Gray, the Premier League footballer who was suspended from the game last year after historical homophobic tweets emerged in which he said gay people should “burn”.

Pinnock, who along with the rest of Little Mix has been a vocal supporter of LGBT+ rights, confirmed she was in a relationship with the disgraced Burnley striker last month, The Sun reports.

Gray, who marked his return to football on New Year’s Eve by scoring a hat-trick against Sunderland, was handed a four-match ban and a £25,000 fine by the Football Association last September over the remarks, which were made in 2012.

The 25-year-old sportsman had written: “Is it just me or are there gays everywhere? #Burn #Die #MakesMeSick”.

Gray expressed remorse for the remarks following his ban, insisting he wasn’t homophobic and was a “completely different person” when the tweet was written.

“Firstly, I want to offer a sincere and unreserved apology to anybody I may have offended in relation to these tweets,” Gray said at the time.

“The tweets were posted four years ago when I was a completely different person to the man I am now. I was at a very different point in my life back then – one that I’ve worked hard to move on from.”

He continued: “I have experienced a lot over the past four years and have had to take responsibility for a number of things in my life which enabled me to mature and grow as a person since that time.

“I can assure everybody that I am absolutely not homophobic and as said previously I can only apologise and ask for forgiveness to anyone I offended.”

As part of Little Mix, Pinnock has regularly used her platform to support the LGBT+ community, most recently including a sweet nod to same-sex relationships during a prime-time television performance on The X Factor.

The girls have previously said they consider their track ‘Secret Love Song’, from their third album Get Weird, as an anthem to the LGBT+ community – and even performed it as a particularly moving tribute to to victims of the Orlando shootings last year.

Speaking to Attitude in 2016, Leigh-Anne’s bandmate Perrie Edwards said: “I think because we did go to performing arts schools being gay was a lot more accepted. The people were more open-minded.”

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