Ospreys fine Kristian Phillips for alleged homophobic comment

Kristian Phillips
Wing Kristian Phillips made his Ospreys debut in 2008

The Ospreys have fined wing Kristian Phillips for posting an allegedly homophobic comment on his Twitter page.

Wing Kristian Phillips, 21, admitted abusing Big Brother contestant Aaron Allard-Morgan on in November and has apologised.

He said: "It was a stupid, throwaway comment that I made at the spur of the moment and no offence was intended whatsoever."

The Ospreys stated: "Ospreys Rugby does not condone the use of such language."

Phillips' fine is unspecified, but the Ospreys have reminded their players over the dangers posed by social media.

It is not the first time an Osprey has hit the headlines over alleged homophobic comments.

In February 2010, gay referee Nigel Owens dismissed as "banter" a Twitter exchange in which back-five forward Jonathan Thomas allegedly made homophobic comments.

The Ospreys statement in the wake of Phillips' read: "As a result of the investigation, we are able to confirm that Kristian Phillips did post a tweet on 7th November via his personal account containing terminology likely to be construed as homophobic.

"Having discussed the issue at length with the individual concerned and taking into account all the available evidence we are satisfied that it was an innocent, if extremely naïve comment to make, which was not meant in a homophobic way and no offence was actually intended.

"Further to this, upon realising that his actions had indeed caused offence, he immediately removed the tweet in question, within a matter of hours of it originally being posted.

"Kristian has also shown genuine remorse and regret for his actions and for any offence caused.

"However, Ospreys Rugby does not condone the use of such language in any way.

"As a business we feel that it is necessary to ensure that all our employees realise that there is no place within the organisation for offensive behaviour or language of any kind and that they are aware of their position in society as role models.

"As such, Kristian will now face a financial penalty as per our internal disciplinary procedures, and we have reminded all employees of our social media guidelines to ensure that there is no repeat of this incident.

Philips said: "I would like to apologise to anyone who may have been offended by the tweet in question. It was a stupid, throwaway comment that I made at the spur of the moment and no offence was intended whatsoever.

"However, with the benefit of hindsight I realise how foolish I was to make that comment, and can fully understand the offence that may have been caused.

"This incident has certainly taught me a lesson in how I conduct myself, and I have learnt the hard way to think before I tweet.

"The implications of even the smallest word can be massive, and it is easy for things to be misinterpreted. I would like to reassure people that it won't happen again."