The Football Association’s charge sheet against Andre Gray has been extended to include another potentially offensive message on the Twitter account that has left the Burnley striker facing the possibility of a considerable ban.
Gray has already been charged because of a number of homophobic and sexist slurs made from 9 January to 11 March 2012 but it has now emerged the FA is also taking disciplinary action against a post from July 2014, when he was a player at Brentford, that begins: I hate lightys!
Lighty is slang, often used in a derogatory sense, to describe a light-skinned person of mixed race and the FA’s disciplinary department has included that in the case against the striker, whose 24 goals last season helped Burnley win promotion to the Premier League and led to him being named the Championship’s player of the year.
Gray has until 6pm on Wednesday to respond to the FA’s charge of improper conduct and the aggravating factor that his comments refer to sexual orientation and/or gender and/or colour and/or race.
The statutory punishment for abuse of this nature on the pitch would be five matches but that does not apply to online comments and Chris Stokes, the Coventry City defender, received a one-match suspension after using the term bunch of faggots on Twitter while watching Chelsea’s Premier League match with Tottenham Hotspur on 2 May. Stokes, who admitted breaching FA rules, was also ordered to attend an FA education course, fined £1,000 and warned about his future conduct. However, Gray’s case is considered significantly more serious because of the sheer volume of tweets and their extreme wording. One read: Is it me or are there gays everywhere? “>Burn “>Die “>MakesMeSick.
Gray deleted his Twitter account on Saturday. The 25-year-old, who was playing for non-league Hinckley United in 2012, apologised last weekend in a statement saying he had worked incredibly hard to completely transform my life since that time.
Gray has admitted being involved in gangs in Wolverhampton when he was younger but described himself as a changed man. The tweets were posted four years ago when I was a completely different person to the man I am now. I was at a very different point in my life back then – one that I’ve worked hard to move on from.
News Source TheGuardianNews