A Burnley footballer has been criticised after tweets he sent suggesting gay people should be killed have resurfaced.
Andre Gray, a striker, has been attacked over the tweets which date from 2012, many of which were deleted on Saturday.
The footballer has since asked “for forgiveness” over the posts, saying he was “a completely different person to the man I am now”.
One appeared to suggest that gay people should be killed. It reads: “Is it me or are there gays everywhere? #Burn #Die #Makesmesick”.
Another talks about the late singer Whitney Houston, saying: “Wernt [sic] surprised of her death dont no why any1 is.. She was a ravin crackhead”.
A third said he had “#nosympathy” for someone who got ran over on the motorway causing a traffic jam he was stuck in.
The tweets date back to 2012, when the 25-year-old played for Hinckley United.
Since thousands criticised the footballer, and the tweets were deleted, Gray released a statement apologising.
It reads: “I would like to respond to media reports with regards to previous tweets posted from my Twitter account.
“Firstly, I want to offer a sincere and unreserved apology to anybody I may have offended in relation to these tweets. The tweets were posted four years ago when I was a completely different person to the man I am now. I was at a very different point in my life back then – one that I’ve worked hard to move on from.
“Thankfully a lot has changed in my life since then. I have experienced a lot over the past four years and have had to take responsibility for a number of things in my life which has enabled me to mature and grow as a person since that time.
“I have a lot of regrets regarding a number of things I’ve done in the past and realise I have made some big mistakes, none more so than these tweets, but I would like to stress that I’ve worked incredibly hard to completely transform my life since that time.”
Adding: “To clarify, I do not hold the beliefs written in those tweets whatsoever. I can assure everybody that I am absolutely not homophobic and as said previously I can only apologise and ask for forgiveness to anyone I offended.
“Thankfully I am not the guy I was back then and will continue to work hard both on and off the pitch to become a better person.”
The Premier League player a month ago criticised fans from Burnley for racism.
Burnley Fooball Club is yet to respond.