Burnley’s Andre Gray has issued an apology and asked for “forgiveness” after homophobic tweets posted by the striker in 2012 were shared on social media.
The Clarets are aware of the tweets and have issued a statement along with the player, who claims to be “a completely different person” to the one who put up the messages.
Gray was playing non-league football for Hinckley when he posted the offensive tweets. One of the messages read:
“Is it me or are there gays everywhere? #Burn #Die #Makesmesick”
The 25-year-old, who scored his first Premier League goal in Burnley’s 2-0 win against Liverpool on Saturday, released a lengthy statement, which said:
“I would like to respond to media reports with regards to previous tweets posted from my Twitter account.
“Firstly, I want to offer a sincere and unreserved apology to anybody I may have offended in relation to these tweets. The tweets were posted four years ago when I was a completely different person to the man I am now. I was at a very different point in my life back then – one that I’ve worked hard to move on from.
“Thankfully a lot has changed in my life since then. I have experienced a lot over the past four years and have had to take responsibility for a number of things in my life which has enabled me to mature and grow as a person since that time.
“I have a lot of regrets regarding a number of things I’ve done in the past and realise I have made some big mistakes, none more so than these tweets, but I would like to stress that I’ve worked incredibly hard to completely transform my life since that time.
“To clarify, I do not hold the beliefs written in those tweets whatsoever. I can assure everybody that I am absolutely not homophobic and as said previously I can only apologise and ask for forgiveness to anyone I offended.
“Thankfully I am not the guy I was back then and will continue to work hard both on and off the pitch to become a better person.”
A Burnley club statement read:
“Burnley have been made aware of historical social media posts by Andre Gray, made prior to the player joining the club.
“The club would like to make it clear we do not condone any discriminatory behaviour by any employee.
“The club also fully supports the FA’s Football v Homophobia campaign.
“However, as Andre has made clear in a statement on his personal account, these are social posts from four years ago, and in this time he has completely transformed his life.
“The player has also apologised and denied he is, in any way, shape or form homophobic.
“Burnley will make no further statement on this matter.”