Soccer player apologizes for anti-gay tweets


Walsall Football Club defender Manny Smith has apologized to a soccer fan he verbally abused in a series of homophobic tweets.

Smith, according to, called gay fan Kevin Paddock a “queer” and “Kev Cock” and tweeted “Seriously you need to explain your earring! A ‘triangle’ u defo a queer belend.”

Smith and Paddock later met and Smith issued a formal apology on the UK 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 met with Kevin in person today and apologised to him face-to-face. He has kindly agreed that this will be the end of the matter.

“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.”

Paddock accepted the apology with a series of tweets, including, “All sorted mate it’s behind us now.…”

The club also stated its “zero-tolerance attitude to such behaviour. We will be dealing with this matter, in its entirety, internally with guidance from the various governing bodies.”

And then the club stated there would be no further comment at the advice of attorneys.

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