LA Galaxy soccer player Sebastian Lletget has issued an apology after getting caught on camera using a homophobic slur.
Outsports reports that Lletget uttered the word “puto” on camera in an Instagram post. “Puto” is the Spanish equivalent of f*ggot. Within hours of the video posting on Friday, Lletget had deleted it and issued a full apology to the LGBTQ sports site.
“I messed up. Earlier today, I posted a video that included me using a derogatory slur in Spanish,” Lletget wrote. “I have taken down a video from my Instagram story but want to address its impact and not hide from this. I take full responsibility and ownership on what was an extremely poor and ill-thought phrase and have no excuse for my actions. I am sorry and know the pain that this term has caused for so many.”
“I want to be part of the solution — not part of the problem — and continue to be an advocate and an ally for the LGBTQ+ community,” he added. “Those who know me know my character and heart. I will remain outspoken in my support and advocacy. My error doesn’t change that. Thanks for your accountability. I need to do and be better.”
The video shows Lletget palling around with fellow player Julian Araujo. Lletget walks up behind Araujo and slaps him on the neck, at which point he uses the word.
A spokesperson for the LA Galaxy issued this statement: “The L.A. Galaxy do not condone homophobic or derogatory language of any kind,” it read. “The club stands with the LGBTQ+ community and will address this matter internally.”
Homophobia within major league soccer continues to be an ongoing problem. Last year, Brazilian soccer star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, better known as Neymar, made international headlines for using the Portuguese equivalent of “f*ggot” in reference to his mother’s boyfriend, while threatening to rape him with a broom handle. In 2018, the LA Galaxy’s Pride Night was disrupted by a group of fans in the crowd that kept chanting “puto” throughout the game.