American football star Larry Johnson has been suspended for allegedly making homophobic comments on Twitter.
Johnson, who plays for Kansas City Chiefs, directed derogatory remarks about the ability of head coach Todd Haley after the team lost 37-7 against the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
When one of Johnson’s followers referred to an incident in which he allegedly spat in the face of a woman in a nightclub. Johnson is said to have described his user photo as a “fag pic” and called him a “Christopher Street boy” – a reference to a Pride march route in New York.
The star has now been asked to stay at home while Kansas City Chiefs and the National Football League investigate the alleged remarks.
He issued an apology for the remarks on Tuesday, saying: “I regret my actions. The words were used by me in frustration, and they were not appropriate. I did not intend to offend anyone, but that is no excuse for what I said.”
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) has welcomed the apology.
In a statement, GLAAD president Jarrett Barrios said: “Larry Johnson’s apology sends an important message that there is no excuse for using anti-gay epithets.
“We are continuing to call on the NFL and the Kansas City Chiefs to use this unfortunate incident as a way to educate and start a dialogue with players and fans regarding the dangers of homophobia in sports.”