Footballer faces fine for homophobic tweet

Crawley Town FC midfielder, Hope Akpan, has been fined £1,200 by The Football Association, over remarks made on his twitter account last month.

The tweet in question read: 'Gays all over the tele what’s wrong with Britain! Sorry I’m #FullyHomophobic.'

The 20-year-old, who signed from Everton in the summer, has since deleted the comment from the social networking site.

The manager of the League Two club, Steve Evans, said: "Hope confirmed that he had been made aware of the comment by a team-mate, was astonished by its content and deleted it immediately.

"Having spoken to Hope at length, I accept that the comments were added to his Twitter account by a young member of his family without Hope's knowledge."

However, after the tweet was posted, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell said: "He says these comments were posted by a younger member of his family without his knowledge or consent.

"In the absence of evidence to the contrary we will have to take his word for it, but I'm surprised and disappointed that he didn't make a positive statement saying that he himself deplored homophobia."

After the fine was announced, the player said: “This is a very harsh lesson for me but given the circumstances I had no option but to plead guilty.

“It is clear the person I thought would stand up for his actions did not, and it has come with a heavy price to myself. I am told the FA were very sympathetic over what happened but they must act within their rules."

He did show some acknowledgement that the content of the tweet was unacceptable, saying:

“In relation to what was reported on my Twitter account, I can only once again apologise. I did not write those words and they are certainly not my views.”

Date: 21 November 2011


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