Blackpool defender Marvin Ekpiteta has apologized for historic homophobic social media posts that have embarrassed him following the exit of team-mate Jake Daniels.
On Monday, the 17-year-old Blackpool striker came out publicly, becoming the first openly gay male footballer in Britain to do so while playing since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
After Daniels’ announcement, which had been met with widespread support, Ekpiteta’s posts from 2012 and 2013 containing homophobic tones were highlighted.
Ekpiteta, 26, later deleted the offending posts and issued an unqualified apology expressing regret for his actions a decade ago “which in no way reflect the values I stand for now”.
“Messages I posted on social media in 2012 and 2013 have come to the fore,” the defender wrote 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 had the chance to work with a wide range of people. Throughout this period, I have evolved and grown in 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 am upset that the comments I have made previously suggest otherwise. I take full responsibility for these messages, and I’m sorry.