French rugby union center Mathieu Bastareaud faces a suspension after being caught allegedly directing a gay slur at an Italian opponent over the weekend. I say “allegedly,” but it’s pretty clear he called Italian rugger Sebastian Negri a “f***ing f***ot” during their match on Sunday.
Bastareaud took to Twitter to apologize for his comment. The translation of what he said:
Good evening everyone, I apologize for my reaction to the insults of the Italian player. I reacted badly by responding to his provocation, I am sincerely sorry for the people I could hurt.
It’s pretty clear from “the people I could hurt” that he used a slur and not just your run-of-the-mill swear words.
The incident is now being investigated, and Bastareaud could face a suspension if it’s deemed he did in fact use slurs.
Bastareaud plays on the French national team and the coveted Six Nations Championship starts in just a couple of weeks. If found guilty, Bastareaud could be prevented from competing in the tournament or at least early matches.
At some point these athletes will understand that their use of gay slurs simply isn’t worth the suspension and fine and will stop using them. As long as LGBT athletes are afraid to come out, it will be important to eliminate these slurs from sports.