Guardian- "Burnley forward Andre Gray has been suspended for four matches commencing with immediate effect for misconduct in respect of social media comments. It was alleged that six postings on his Twitter account were abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute contrary to Rule E3(1)."
"It was further alleged that these breaches of Rule E3(1) included a reference to sexual orientation and/or gender and/or colour and/or race contrary to Rule E3(2). The player admitted to three of the breaches, and denied the remaining three were in breach of FA Rules."
"Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing yesterday, the remaining three breaches were found proven. The player was also fined £25,000, warned as to his future conduct and ordered to attend an FA education course.”
I gotta be honest here. When I first saw that a soccer player was being suspended for - apparently retroactive - social media posts from four years ago my first inclination was to defend him. Before I actually read them I was all set to conjure up some arbitrary statue of limitations for moronic things said in the moment on widely disseminated platforms. After all, a lot can change in four years. Hell, a lot HAS changed in four years. You know, such as the general public's feelings towards the LGBT community. I'm not saying it was okay to be a slanderous, homophobic asshole in 2012, but it's undoubtedly more unacceptable now. That seemed like a relatively decent argument to make until, well, I actually took a gander at the comments he was being suspended for.
Jesus Christ Andre, could you make it any tougher to defend you? Thought I was about to take the stand and argue that a 25 year old didn't understand the consequences of his words when he typed them out as an ignorant 21 year old kid. How the hell can I do that with a straight face when the words in question are both homophobic and homicidal?!? I can work with a young, dumb idiot being confused by alternate lifestyles, but I can't work with a young, dumb idiot wanting all people of that alternative lifestyle to die. I may have still been saying "faggot"conversationally amongst friends when I turned legal, but I damn sure wasn't putting a hashtag in front of it AND the arsonous way in which I wanted all gay people to perish.
Basically what I am saying is that I am dismissing myself from the case. These tweets are simply too vile for me to blame youth and naivety. It does seem weird to take action four years later, but the Premier League should suspend this jerk-off as long as they want. If not for being a prejudice dickhead then for actively trying to get more people to see his discriminatory bullshit by putting pound signs in front of his most offensive keywords.