June 28, 2022

‘What you said ten years ago at 17 years old doesn’t define the man you are today’

Jake Daniels has defended his Blackpool teammate Marvin Ekpiteta after he deleted several historic homophobic posts on his Twitter account.

The 17-year-old Daniels became the only current male professional footballer in the UK to come out as gay on Monday – which has led to him receiving widespread support as a result.

However, on the same day, Tangerines’ defender Ekpiteta deleted a series of homophobic posts which were made a number of years ago.

As reported by the Metro, in 2013, Ekpiteta wrote that it was ‘disgusting’ and ‘ridiculous’ that TV show Hollyoaks had five gay characters.

In the same year, he is said to have used three clapping emojis in response to a post which announced that Nigeria had outlawed gay marriage.

The 26-year-old issued an apology for his posts on Twitter – insisting that he has since ‘developed and grown as a person’.

In his apology, he said: “Today, social media posts I made in 2012 and 2013 have been highlighted.

“I want to wholeheartedly apologise for the offensive and completely inappropriate language I used, and for the sentiments I expressed.

“As a footballer, and in the years spent in work, before I became a professional player, I’ve been fortunate to have worked with a wide and diverse range of people. Throughout this period, I have developed and grown as a person.

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“Yesterday, I was proud of Jake and all involved at Blackpool FC for what is a hugely positive moment for football as a whole.

“I am embarrassed by the comments I made as a 17-year-old, nearly a decade ago, which do not in any way reflect the values I hold now or the beliefs I have as a person or as a team-mate.

“Football needs to be a place where everyone can feel free to be true to themselves, and I am upset that the comments I previously made suggest otherwise.

Now, Daniels has backed Ekpiteta’s response and stated that he is ‘proud’ to be teammates with the defender.

“What you said ten years ago at 17 years old doesn’t define the man you are today,” Daniels wrote in response to Ekpiteta’s apology on social media.

“I am proud to be your teammate and to be part of the Blackpool family – we are all moving football forwards together.”

Daniels said that he hopes his story can act as an inspiration to others in a similar position to him.

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