The United States soccer league, Major League Soccer, threw its backing against any homophobia on the pitch this week after a player used an anti-gay slur on the field towards another player. The move is part of the MLS’s continued efforts to be inclusive following the coming out of American player Robbie Rogers in February.
According to reports, Alan Gordon of the San Jose Earthquakes used the homophobic language against Portland Timbers’ Will Johnson, sparking a plethora of anger from the LGBT community and soccer players who called for an end to such language.
Gordon was then sent off with two yellow cards for unrelated infractions.
In a statement after the match, Gordon apologized for the homophobic slur, but said he would leave it up to the league to comment further.
He said: “I would like to sincerely apologize to everyone who watched tonight’s match on NBC Sports Network. The language I used came during a heated moment and does not reflect my feelings toward the gay and lesbian community. I made a mistake and I accept full responsibility for my actions.”
“I think it’s probably better that I don’t comment on that,” he continued.
“It’s a very sensitive matter. I’d prefer the league go through with their protocol.”
It comes on the heels of LGBT awareness in American soccer following Rogers announcement that he was gay.
By coming out, Rogers became the first American player to announce his sexuality publicly.
“Secrets can cause so much internal damage. People love to preach about honesty, how honesty is so plain and simple. Try explaining to your loved ones after 25 years you are gay,” he wrote on his blog in February.
“Try convincing yourself that your creator has the most wonderful purpose for you even though you were taught differently.”
In the post, Rogers said he was taking a break from the game after being released by Leeds United in January and had been playing on loan at Stevenage Borough FC.