American and LA Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget has apologized for using a homophobic slur on social media.
Lletget, 28, posted a video on his now-deleted Instagram account that showed him sneaking up on his LA Galaxy teammate Julián Araujo and slapping him on the neck while yelling “eeeeeeehhhh p *** ! ”.
The term is considered a homophobic insult and for many years US Soccer, MLS, and the Mexican Soccer Federation have worked tirelessly to try to prevent it from being choked in games.
Through OutSports, Lletget released the following statement when he reached out to them directly after his comments were taken up by his staff at both the LA Galaxy and the USMNT.
“I blew it. Earlier today, I posted a video featuring me using a derogatory insult in Spanish. I have removed a video from my Instagram story, but I want to address its impact and not hide from it. I take full responsibility and ownership for it. That was an extremely poor and ill-thought phrase and I have no excuse for my actions. I am sorry and I know the pain this term has caused so many.
“I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem, and continue to be an advocate and ally for the LGBTQ + community. Those who know me know my character and my heart. I will continue to be forthright in my support and advocacy. My mistake doesn’t change that. Thank you for your responsibility. I need to do it and be better. “
According to OutSports, the LA Galaxy has said the matter will be dealt with internally.
“The LA Galaxy does not condone homophobic or derogatory language of any kind. The club supports the LGBTQ + community and will address this issue internally. “
Lletget has been constantly involved with the United States National Team in recent years, as academy product West Ham United scored twice in a 4-1 win against Jamaica last month and is seen as an important part of the game. Gregg Berhalter’s men’s national team this summer and beyond.
MLS also released a statement saying it is “committed to providing an environment in which all people are treated with dignity and respect,” in addition to announcing that it has launched a formal investigation.