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Shane Duffy: Homophobic slurs from Brighton and Hove footballer

Shane Duffy Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Shane Duffy playing for Brighton against Tottenham Hotspur

Offensive tweets have emerged from a footballer whose team is at the forefront of tackling homophobia.

Brighton and Hove Albion defender Shane Duffy, 26, posted a series of slurs on the social media platform in 2011 and 2012, and called gay X Factor contestant Rylan Clark-Neal a "thing".

The city is known for its large LGBT community and the club has a "zero tolerance approach" to homophobia.

A spokesman for the club said Mr Duffy has apologised in a letter to the FA.

Image copyright Twitter

The spokesman added: "The club's stance on homophobia is well known, and we have a zero tolerance approach.

"Shane made the posts when he was still a teenager.

"He has since previously apologised for any offence he may have unwittingly caused. As far as the club is concerned that draws a line under this issue."

Mr Duffy was playing for Everton at the time he posted his tweets.

A spokesperson for the Football Association said: "We were made aware of the allegations and investigated. We wrote to the player last month to warn him about his future conduct."

Image copyright Twitter

Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, said he was surprised by the tweets: "They are from quite a few years ago, but they are certainly homophobic. It's totally unacceptable.

"He does play for a team in one of the most gay cities in Britain, and his team is regularly subjected to homophobic abuse by fans from rival team so you would think Shane… would be very firm in opposing prejudice of any kind, and want to stand with his team mates and the LGBT community in Brighton against homophobia.

"Some people say it's just banter but there is no excuse for banter that's racist, misogynistic or homophobic."

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