Major League Soccer has suspended Houston Dynamo midfielder Colin Clark for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount for using unacceptable and offensive language toward a ball boy during his team's game against Seattle on March 24.
Microphones near the pitch caught Clark shouting a homophobic slur at the ball boy when he was slow to return the ball to Clark.
“Major League Soccer will not tolerate this type of behavior from its players or staff at any time, under any circumstances,” MLS commissioner Don Garber said. “Colin Clark has expressed sincere remorse for his actions and I believe that he will learn from this incident.”
In addition to his suspension and fine, Garber has also ordered Clark to attend diversity and sensitivity training.
“I am sorry about what happened during the Seattle match,” Clark said. “I have personally apologized to the ball boy, and I want to take this chance to say I’m sorry to everyone that I’ve offended. I intend to never use those words again in any context.
"There is no excuse for them. What I said does not properly represent who I am or what I believe. I made a mistake that I truly regret. I accept the punishment that has been handed down by MLS, and I want to learn from this incident and move forward.”
The Dynamo also issued the following statement:
“Colin Clark made a regrettable and inexcusable mistake for which he is being disciplined. We accept and support the punishment that has been laid out by MLS and look forward to moving beyond it.
"We know that this incident is not a true representation of Colin’s character or beliefs and that he is remorseful for what happened. He has a strong record of being a community leader and expect that he will use this as a learning and teaching opportunity in the future.”
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