Leicester City footballer Michael Ball has been fined by the FA for an anti-gay tweet regarding Coronation Street actor Anthony Cotton (pictured right).
Warning: Contains some strong language
The footballer has been fined £6000 by the FA after admitting the charge of bringing the game into disrepute with the tweet. The Daily Mirror reports the fine is the highest handed to a footballer over a homophobic incident.
Ball’s tweet on Twitter was regarding the Coronation Street actor Anthony Cotton, who is openly gay, who plays factory worker Sean Tully in the Manchester serial. The tweet was regarding the actors somewhat criticised stint in ITV reality series I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! The footballer wrote on Twitter ‘That fucking queer. Get back to your sewing machine in Corrie, you moaning bastard.’
Leicester City have now revealed that they have reached a “mutual agreement” with Ball for the “cancellation of his contract”. Ball originally joined the club on a one-year contract. Ball is not the first player, in recent months, to hit the headlines for homophobic tweets. Oxford City player Lee Steele was dismissed by Oxford City after he made comments about the openly gay rugby player Gareth Thomas (pictured right) upon his entry to the Celebrity Big Brother house. The footballer tweeted ‘I wouldn’t fancy the bed next to Gareth Thomas #padlockedarsehole‘.
The two incidents come ahead of a documentary on BBC Three examining why there are no openly gay professional footballers in the UK. It is often argued that the fear of damage to career and discrimination from other players, clubs and fans are the reasons for players hiding their sexuality.
Britain’s Gay Footballers: BBC Three, Monday 30th January at 9pm.