Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Three footballers charged for alleged homophobic Twitter remarks

Football players are continuing to find themselves in trouble for posting homophobia comments on social media website Twitter.

Just weeks after West Ham United player Ravel Morrison was fined £7,000 a trio of professional players have been charged with improper conduct by the Football Association.

These include Manchester United's Federico Macheda and Newcastle United's Nile Ranger.

A statement from the Football Association said: "Newcastle United’s Nile Ranger, Walsall’s Manny Smith and Manchester United’s Federico Macheda, currently on loan at Queens Park Rangers, have all been charged with improper conduct in relation to comments made on Twitter.

"The charge is that the players acted in a way which was improper and/or brought the game into disrepute. It is further alleged that the breach included a reference to a person’s or persons’ sexual orientation."

These cases follow a number of high profile cases. As well as Morrison, Leicester City footballer Michael Ball was fined £6,000 by the FA for a comment about the gay soap actor Anthony Cotton during his appearance on I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! Lee Steele also was dismissed from Oxford City football club after comments he made about the openly gay rugby player Gareth Thomas during his stint in Celebrity Big Brother.

The Justin Campaign welcomes the FA taking such a strong stance on comments made on public sites by professional player. Football fans look up to these young men and women. When role models get told their actions are wrong then this can only have a knock-on effect.

However we are aware that while these high-profile cases are important it alone will not be enough. Far more is needed to raise awareness about the inequalities within sport, especially with the LGBT community.

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