Days after Blackpool FC striker Jake Daniels came out as gay, past historical homophobic tweets of his teammate Marvin Ekpiteta have resurfaced. 

Ekpiteta, 26, deleted the tweets and apologised to Daniels, who indicated that he has forgiven his teammate. 

On Monday, 17-year-old Daniels became the first openly gay footballer, since Justin Fashanu in 1990, to come out while still playing.

While his teammates welcomed his coming out and reiterated their support, old homophobic tweets posted by Ekpiteta in 2012-2013 came to light. This included support for anti-gay legislation passed in Nigeria and offensive remarks against gay TV characters.

Ekpiteta Deletes Tweets, Apologises

Ekpiteta deleted the tweets and offered his apology. “Social media posts I made in 2012 and 2013 have been highlighted. I want to wholeheartedly apologise for the offensive and completely inappropriate language I used, and for the sentiments I expressed,” said Ekpiteta. 

“As a footballer, and in the years spent in work, before I became a professional player, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with a wide and diverse range of people. Throughout this period, I have developed and grown as a person. Yesterday, I was proud of Jake and all involved at Blackpool FC for what is a hugely positive moment for football as a whole.”

Ekpiteta said that he was a teenager when he made those comments a decade ago.

“I am embarrassed by the comments I made as a 17-year-old, nearly a decade ago, which do not in any way reflect the values I hold now or the beliefs I have as a person or as a teammate,” said Ekpiteta, adding, “Football needs to be a place where everyone can feel free to be true to themselves, and I am upset that the comments I previously made suggest otherwise. I take full responsibility for these posts, and I am sorry.”

Daniels Accepts Apology

Daniels accepted the apology and responded to Ekpiteta’s message on social media. “What you said ten years ago at 17 years old doesn’t define the man you are today. I am proud to be your teammate and to be part of the Blackpool family – we are all moving football forwards together.”

UK Footballer Jake Daniels Comes Out As Gay

Daniels had come out on Monday in a self-penned essay. “I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself,” Daniels said.

The Blackpool striker said he had been inspired by Adelaide United player Josh Cavallo who had come out last year. He added that he had had the support of his family, club and teammates.

“In reaching this point, I’ve had some of the best support and advice from my family, my Club, my agent and Stonewall, who have all been incredibly pro-active in putting my interests and welfare first. I have also confided in my team-mates in the youth team here at Blackpool, and they too have embraced the news and supported my decision to open up and tell people.”

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