Olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice loses Jaguar contract over ‘homophobic’ Twitter comment
Australian Olympic swimming champion Stephanie Rice has been dropped by Jaguar, with whom she had a sponsorship agreement, following her homophobic Twitter comment last Saturday.
Gold-medallist Ms Rice tweeted: “Suck on that faggots!” following the Wallabies’ dramatic Tri-Nations win over the Springboks on Saturday.
The 22-year-old has subsequently lost her car deal – and the $100,000-plus Jaguar XF vehicle that came with it. She has also lost her role this week as a Jaguar ambassador at a Sydney fashion event.
Jaguar spokesman Mark Eedle reportedly said: “We have terminated our agreement with [Ms Rice] . . . we will be taking the car that she’s been using back.
“It’s to do with how we want to associate our brand and unfortunately this is not an association we want to have going forward.”
Ms Rice has since apologised on her website for her comments, saying: “I did not mean to cause offence and I apologise”.
Gay ex-footballer Ian Roberts called Ms Rice an “idiot”, but she received support from gay Australian Olympic champion diver, Matthew Mitcham.
According to World News Australia, Mr Mitcham said: “It was offensive and very thoughtless, but being friends with her for two years, I know she is not homophobic.
“She meant no malice, and she has apologised for her careless comment posted in the excitement of the moment.”
Earlier today, a Swimming Australia spokesman reportedly said the organisation did not condone Rice’s comments.