Blackpool's Ekpiteta apologises for and deletes homophobic social media posts after team-mate Daniels comes out as gay

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Marvin Ekpiteta, Blackpool 2021-22
The defender says he is "embarrassed" by comments he made online almost a decade ago

Blackpool's Marvin Ekpiteta has apologised for and deleted a series of homophobic social media posts after seeing his team-mate Jake Daniels come out as gay.

17-year-old midfielder Daniels made history earlier this week as he became the first player from the UK men's game to publicly come out since Justin Fashanu in 1990.

A series of homophobic posts from Ekipiteta that he published online between 2012 and 2013 were highlighted after Daniels' announcement, and the defender has now issued an apology.

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What has Ekpiteta said about the social media posts?

Ekpiteta has also pledged his support to Daniels while admitting that he is "embarrassed" over the language he used on social media almost a decade ago.

"I take full responsibility for these posts, and I am sorry," said the 26-year-old.

"I want to wholeheartedly apologise for the offensive and completely inappropriate language I used, and for the sentiments I expressed.

"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.

"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 team-mate.

"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."

Daniels hoping to be a 'role model' for next generation

Daniels revealed his sexual orientation in a moving statement via Blackpool's official website.

The teenager spoke candidly about how he has wrestled with his identity before expressing his desire to provide an example for the next generation of budding young footballers.

"I’ve known my whole life that I’m gay, and I now feel that I’m ready to come out and be myself," said Daniels.

"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. I’ve hated lying my whole life and feeling the need to change to fit in. I want to be a role model myself by doing this.

"There are people out there in the same space as me that may not feel comfortable revealing their sexuality. I just want to tell them that you don’t have to change who you are, or how you should be, just to fit in. You being you, and being happy, is what matters most."

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