Mason Holgate, a player for Everton in the Premier League, is now scrambling to literally erase part of his anti-gay past. Unfortunately for him, too many people know how to use shift-command-3.
Anti-gay and homophobic tweets by Holgate from 2012 and 2013 are now surfacing in which Holgate uses a series of gay slurs to insult other Twitter users. While Holgate has now deleted his account in an attempt to avoid the controversy, the screen captures speak for themselves:
While one is clearly a gay slur, “battyboy” is a derogatory term aimed at denigrating gay men.
Holgate’s Twitter feed has come under scrutiny in the last couple of days after he accused an opponent, Liverpool’s Robert Firmino, of calling him racial slurs during a recent match. I’m glad to see the local authorities taking that very seriously as no one should be the target of slurs based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or anything else.
Yet none of that excuses the athlete’s use of these damaging slurs several years ago. People can point to his age — only 16 or 17 when he used that language — but that’s simply no excuse for not previously deleting the tweets or identifying them and apologizing proactively.
It will be interesting to watch out the Premier League, which claims it is 100% on board with welcoming LGBT fans and players, handles this controversy. Previously Andre Gray was suspended four matches by the Premier League for anti-gay tweets he posted several years ago.