This past Friday, Smith (@manny_smith6), a Walsall Football Club player, started taunting a fan named Kevin Paddock (@yga_saddler), who says in his Twitter profile he’s “an openly gay man that watches Walsall FC.”
We’re not sure whether Paddock had a picture of himself for his profile picture (now it’s the Walsall FC’s team logo), but, in the tweets at right, Manny seemed quite fond of making fun of Paddock’s nose and earring, saying, “Ur defo a queer u belend!”
Apparently belend, more commonly spelled bellend, means “penis head” or “dick” in British slang.
Manny issued a public apology on the soccer team’s website:
I would like to publicly apologise to Kevin. The comments were borne out of frustration and were tweeted in the heat of the moment. I deeply regret them. I realise that, as a professional sports person, I am a role model and my conduct, both in person and via social networking sites, should reflect this.
I just want to concentrate on my football and help Walsall maintain our League One status. I apologise to all our supporters and everyone connected with the club for this unfortunate incident, especially when all the focus should be on yesterday’s deserved win over Wycombe.
We’re not sure if Smith promised to stop using anti-gay slang in his meeting with Paddock, but hopefully he went a little further than he did in this apology, which just sounds like he’s sorry he got caught. Smith will probably face a fine from the soccer authorities.
You’d think that athletes would be careful about tweeting homophobia, especially given two recent incidents: a hockey player who called the Foo Fighters “Foo Faggots” on Twitter and a soccer player who got fired for joking he’d have to “padlock [his] arse” if he were in the bed next to an openly gay rugby player.
Source: OutSports. Photos via Twitter, Manny Smith