Footballer Rio Ferdinand Under Fire for “Faggot” Comment

Rio_ferdinandManchester United player Rio Ferdinand (seen here with teammate Cristiano Ronaldo on a tour bus this week in Lisbon) ruffled some feathers during a BBC radio show today when he referred to the radio host as a “faggot”.

“Ferdinand made the comment live on air after Moyles quizzed him over which of two Manchester United team-mates, Alan Smith and Paul Scholes, was more attractive. ‘If you had to, who would you rather go out with – Smudger or Scholesy?’ Moyles asked in a reference to the two players’ nicknames. ‘That is not my bag that, that is not my game, talking about going out with geezers,’ replied Ferdinand. When Moyles jokingly suggested he would prefer Smith, Ferdinand told him: ‘You’re a faggot.’ A Radio 1 spokeswoman said it had received two complaints about the exchange. As others in the studio expressed shock, the England defender said: ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m not homophobic.'”

Paul Scholes, one of the players Moyles and Ferdinand had been discussing, recently came under fire for calling a referee a “poofter.”

While Outrage UK activist Peter Tatchell expressed dismay over the Scholes comment, Ferdinand’s was met with a softer approach: “Even as a joke, homophobic quips are just as unacceptable as racist ones but since Rio Ferdinand very promptly apologised, I am happy to accept his regret and leave it at that.”

BBC plays down Moyles ‘faggot’ row [guardian uk]