Jake Daniels has made the bold decision to come out as gay this week and the Blackpool star has accepted an apology from team-mate Marvin Ekpiteta following his earlier homophobic comments
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Jake Daniels has told fellow Blackpool star Marvin Ekpiteta that he is “proud” to be his team-mate after apologizing after historic homophobic tweets resurfaced.
Daniels came out as gay this week, becoming the first active male footballer to do so since Justin Fashanu in 1990. The football community has spoken out in support of the teenager, but one of the players closest to him has faced backlash over social media tweets posted as a teenager.
Ekpiteta has apologized for the comments, which are almost a decade old, and backed Daniels following his decision. Daniels has now accepted his apology and claims he is “proud” to be his teammate.
In a lengthy post, Ekpiteta wrote: “I would like to apologize from the bottom of my heart for the offensive and totally inappropriate language I used and for the feelings I expressed.
“As a footballer and in the years I worked before turning professional, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with a wide variety of people. During this time I have developed and grown as a person. Yesterday I was proud of Jake and everyone involved at Blackpool FC for a hugely positive moment for football as a whole.
“I’m embarrassed by the comments I made as a 17-year-old almost a decade ago which in no way reflect the values I hold now or the beliefs I hold as a person or as a teammate. Football needs to be a place where everyone can feel free to be true to themselves and I’m upset that the comments I’ve made before suggest otherwise. I take full responsibility for these posts and I’m sorry.”
Daniels said: “What you said ten years ago at the age of 17 does not define the man you are today. I’m proud to be your team-mate and part of the Blackpool family. We all advance football together. “
The Blackpool teenager, who was on loan at non-League club Bamber Bridge this season, claimed his decision was motivated by his desire to be “free and confident” about his sexuality.
He told Sky Sports: “Now is the right time for this. I feel ready to tell people my story. I want people to know the real me. I’ve thought long and hard about how I’d like to do it, if I want to do it. I know now is the time. I’m ready to be myself, to be free and to be confident in everything.
He added, “I can’t really date it, but I was probably five or six years old when I knew I was gay. So it’s been a long time since I’ve lived with the lie.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/jake-daniels-sends-message-blackpool-27002755 Jake Daniels sends message to Blackpool team-mate Marvin Ekpiteta after homophobic tweets