Jarrod Bowen is being investigated by The Football Association after using the ‘N-word’ on Twitter.
Bowen has apologised after the tweet, posted in 2012, was brought to the FA’s attention.
The West Ham forward was a 15-year-old youth player at Hereford at the time.
The post received 85 likes and 51 retweets.
Bowen has since deleted all his tweets prior to 2013.
In a statement issued on Friday morning Bowen said: “In 2012, when I was a 15-year-old kid, I posted an offensive and immature tweet. I wish to apologise unreservedly for the unacceptable content of that post, especially to all connected with West Ham United.
“This is not an example I wish to set and it certainly does not portray the values and principles that I hold.”
West Ham are dealing with the matter internally.
The club said: “Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of West Ham United, and our zero-tolerance approach to any form of discrimination is embedded across the club. The club takes matters of this nature extremely seriously.
“In regard to the tweet from 2012, we have spoken to Jarrod and he is aware of the club’s unequivocal stance in this area. He fully understands the requirements and responsibility upon him to always act in line with the club’s values. This will be dealt with internally.”
In 2016, the FA suspended Watford striker Andre Gray – then at Burnley – for four games after a homophobic post from four years prior, when he was 21 years old, came to light.
Port Vale striker Tom Pope was handed a six-game ban in 2020 after he was found guilty of making anti-Semitic comments on social media.
Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani was handed a three-match ban by the FA for using a racist term in a social media post in December.
The FA, as part of their investigation, will ascertain whether Bowen would have been classed as a participant in the game at the time of the tweet. If it is decided that he was not, the issue falls outside of the governing body’s jurisdiction.