Premier League footballer Andre Gray is facing action from the Football Association over tweets suggesting that gays should be “burned”.
Andre Gray, a striker for Burnely, had faced criticism after shocking homophobic tweets from 2012 resurfaced online.
He wrote: “Is it me or are there gays everywhere? #Burn #Die #MakesMeSick”
The footballer has since deleted the tweets and asked “for forgiveness” over the posts, saying he was “a completely different person to the man I am now”.
But he is now facing action from the FA, who operate a zero-tolerance policy for homophobic conduct.
An FA statement said: “Burnley’s Andre Gray has been charged with misconduct in respect of social media comments made between 9 January 2012 and 11 March 2012.
“It is alleged the comments were abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute contrary to FA Rule E3(1).
“It is further alleged that these breaches include reference to an “aggravating factor”, namely, sexual orientation and/or gender and/or colour and/or race contrary to FA Rule E3(2).
“The player has until 6pm on Wednesday 31 August 2016 to respond to the charge.”
Under the FA rules he could face a £12,000 fine and a two-match ban over the incident
Gray said: “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.”
“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.”.