Football: Striker banned four matches for 2012 homophobic tweets

Leicester City's Wes Morgan, left and Burnley's Andre Gray battle for the ball. Photo / AP
Leicester City's Wes Morgan, left and Burnley's Andre Gray battle for the ball. Photo / AP

Burnley striker Andre Gray has been branded with a four-match suspension for posting 'abusive and insulting' content on Twitter.

Following an FA hearing into misconduct charges the 25-year-old was also fined £25,000 plus costs, warned over his future conduct and ordered to attend an educational course for posts dating back to his non-league football days in 2012, in which one called for gay people to 'die'.

The suspension means that Gray, who has accepted the decision, will miss Monday's Premier League match against Watford at Turf Moor, and won't feature in the games against Arsenal, Everton and Southampton.

A statement from the FA read: 'It was alleged that six postings on his Twitter account were abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute contrary to Rule E3(1).

'It was further alleged that these breaches of Rule E3(1) included a reference to sexual orientation and/or gender and/or colour and/or race contrary to Rule E3(2).

'The player admitted to three of the breaches, and denied the remaining three were in breach of FA Rules,' continued the FA on their website.

'Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing yesterday [22 September 2016], the remaining three breaches were found proven.

'The player was also fined £25,000, warned as to his future conduct and ordered to attend an FA education course.'

The Tweets in question came to light back in August after the striker had scored in a memorable victory against Liverpool.

Gray posted Tweets such as: 'Is it me or are there gays everywhere? #Burn #Die #MakesMeSick' and 'Ladies stop dressin your sons as women in heels and make up... do you want them to end up like #PeteBurns.'

He has since profusely apologised stating he was in a 'a very different point in my life back then'.

The Clarets also released a statement on Friday insisting that Burnley and Gray accept the charges, hoping that it sets a precedent.

'Burnley Football Club and Gray accept the Independent Regulatory Commission's decision, which relate to historical posts made before Andre joined the club in August, 2015.

We believe this charge, regarding historical social media posts, should now also serve as a warning to all professional footballers, and participants in the wider sporting field.'

FULL STATEMENT FROM BURNLEY FC:

Burnley Football Club and Gray accept the Independent Regulatory Commission's decision, which relate to historical posts made before Andre joined the club in August, 2015.

Gray himself regrets the posts and has pledged, in an apology, to continue to improve, both as a person and role model to others.

Burnley Football Club takes its responsibility in the wider community seriously, and through its charitable arm, Burnley FC in the Community, will be investing close to £2m in community work over the forthcoming season.

We work closely with all of our players, including Andre, on a wide-ranging variety of community programmes and we undertook 300 player appearances last season, which we will be looking to increase in the coming 12 months.

We believe this charge, regarding historical social media posts, should now also serve as a warning to all professional footballers, and participants in the wider sporting field.

Burnley Football Club will make no further comment at this time.

- Daily Mail

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf04 at 24 Apr 2017 10:03:30 Processing Time: 862ms