1. yep says

    My question is WHY? What did the ball boy do? Was Clark just having a bad day? I don’t get it.

  2. Hollywood, CA says

    This is the best case scenario for homophobic and anti-gay attacks. Other folks should learn:

    STEP 1: Own up 100% to what you have done and give a sincere apology. Not “I apologize if you were offended,” but for even saying such hateful things.

    STEP 2: A penalty/fine handed down by the organization you represent, and not just a slap on the wrist.

    STEP 3: Reach out to the community you have offended and offer to help out to make things right.

    All in a timely manner. Moving on…

  3. says

    And does the ball-boy accept the apology ?
    It’s really up to him.

    The outburst was so unprovoked……it may have been his bad temper. But he seems to have learned his lesson.

  4. Demian says

    As a serial apologizer (but not for anti-gay slurs), I’m well qualified to say that Clark’s apology is what a grownup athlete should say.

  5. Ricco says

    I don’t believe Colin Clark when he says that his words do not represent who he is. I think his words, as well as his freedom to aim them at whomever he pleases, absolutely define the kind of man he is.

    It is very easy to tell the type of man whom such words does not define. How? It’s simple really . . . he never uses them, and he does not require others to monitor his behavior, or make him apologize like he was a sixth grader.

    We are living in a time when homophobic slurs are no longer being tolerated, when codes of what is acceptable and not acceptable are being redefined. Redefined for whom, one may ask . . . well, obviously for people like Colin Clark.

  6. Dan E says

    That’s all fine and nice, Ricco. But are you suggesting that we simply don’t accept apologies from those who don’t live up to your standards. Are you suggesting that anyone who using a homophobic slur must be cast out forever? Because that’s what I’m getting from your comment.

  7. pedro says

    None of you people understand futbol, the ball boy is there to catch the ball and throw it back in bounds…He failed to do his job and the guy had to get the ball himself, hence the reason he was pissed. Was the language crude? Yes. Does it indicate that this footballer is a homophobe? Absolutely not! This isn’t the first time that ball boy, or any other has been yelled at like that and it won’t be the last, only difference is this time was caught on video…nothing to see here.

  8. Mary says

    IMHO, this was the best possible way to deal with the situation. A suspension teaches him (and other homophobes) a lesson. It lets the general culture know that there will be a price paid for anti-gay slurs. Firing him would have been over the top and only made him the recipient of sympathy. In a bad economic times you need to be careful of who you get fired – people know how rough unemployment is.

    I’m glad this story ended with the right action being taken.

  9. pedro says

    That ball boy should be fired, the bastard was crawling towards that ball, I don’t think he’s cut out for this job…

  10. endo says

    No, Pedro, you are flat wrong. The ball boy’s job is not to throw it back into bounds. That’s the player’s job. The ball boy is supposed to do retrieve it for the player in a timely manner so as to not interrupt the flow of play. He did so.

    Clark motioned to him to throw it at him. The ball boy rolled it instead, which is perfectly acceptable and did not lose Clark any time.

    I suspect I know more about “futbol” than you do.

  11. OP says

    Am I the only one creeped out by an allegation by a grown man that a young boy is gay? Was there something gay seeming about the ball boy? Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but there is a kind of misplaced sexual element to the whole thing. Or else a projection. I don’t know. It just seems to indicate some thoughts inside the player’s head that got accidentally verbalized.

  12. Mickey says

    It is clear that word is part of his vocabulary. This is not a one time “opps”.

    I think trying to degrade and insult some random person for no reason is despicable. Choosing to use the word in the way that he did when he did shows him to be a petty and cruel person who should not be considered a role model for anyone. Saying sorry because you got caught acting in your normal everyday fashion is hollow and pointless. Now we will just have some secret /veiled hate and resentment added to his homophobia. I would rather have someone shouting at me from the street than hiding their true feelings and acting a friend.

    How long till he is the next “reformed” spokesperson? When will his “It gets better Video” be released? He is attractive and white so it shouldn’t be long.

  13. says

    curious: do we want people to redeem themselves, come around, and become allies or do we want them to wear scarlet letters forever?

    i can’t seem to tell….

  14. says

    There is the much bigger issue of how many soccer players are “out”……like nil !
    It is the last bastion of homophobia….well, maybe not the last …..but still disgracefully homophobic.

  15. Francis says

    Not just soccer players is there an issue with the closet. It’s all professional sports, male and female. We still haven’t passed the point yet where gay isn’t a “thing” in sports, both when it comes to the athletic culture/athletes themselves and the fans who watch these sports. With that being said, homophobia isn’t tolerated anymore in sports overall (and increasingly less in general) which is the good thing and the indication that things are changing for the better.

    Colin Clark, he said what he said, I DEFINITELY do think it represents the type of person he is, whether that be homophobic or simply very ignorant and crass, but he is taking the necessary steps to change that, he seems sincere, and MLS has stepped in and taken necessary action. Not saying what Mr. Clark said should be forgotten, but he deserves the chance to at least prove his words are genuine and that he is contrite in being sorry for what he did.

  16. Michael W. says

    I think a better teaching moment would have been for the ball boy to follow Clark onto the field and beat the crap out of him.

  17. Mary says

    “curious: do we want people to redeem themselves, come around, and become allies or do we want them to wear scarlet letters forever?

    i can’t seem to tell….”

    Surprising because I would have expected Kiwi to be one of the people here who would want this athlete branded for life as a bigot due to this one slur. Nice to see him realizing that people can change and grow into allies of the LGBT community. But I won’t hold my breath till he makes the same statement about ME!

  18. Johnson says

    MLS should have a zero tolerance policy for both child abuse and hate speech.

    If the player had called the ball boy a racial-slur, he would have been fired.
    You know it, I know it, and MLS knows it.
    Some hate-speech is more wrong to MLS.
    Child abuse, gets you out for three games, that’s hardly a slap on the wrist.

    I see that MLS condones anti-gay hate speech and child abuse by not firing the player.

  19. Ricco says

    DAN E . . . thank you for asking, and not assuming if my comments concerning Colin Clarke’s apology suggest that we not ” . . . accept apologies from those who don’t live up to ‘MY’ standards.”

    Also . . .

    Thank you, DAN E for asking me, not assuming if I was ” . . . suggesting that anyone using a homophobic slur must be cast out forever?” Really, how dramatic!!

    No where in my comments do I even hint at such an implacable stance.

    Go back and read my comments. What I said was that I did not believe Colin Clarke when he said that his words did not define who he is as a man. Then I talked about the nature of apologies, inferring the potential for ingenuousness in such apologies, and that any man requiring what I deemed the sort of oversight usually reserved for fifth graders was a man whose choice of words bespoke him well.

    Nothing was said about not accepting his apology, or casting him out to outer darkness for all eternity!

    When a man is forced to apologize then, unless he, of his own accord, takes additional steps, going beyond what was prescribed for him to do, it is impossible without the passing of time (and one day simply does not qualify) to gauge the sincerity of his apology, or the force of real change in the man.

    I know Colin Clarke monitors himself, that he is capable of not flying off the handle, that he would not say for example, call someone a “F****n F***t who could kick his butt, or who could advance his position in life. What I witnessed on film is a man who does not feel he has to show respect to those he deems beneath him . . . and from what I can tell that at least includes ball boys and Gays.

    If you are ever unsure of something I said, please ask me. I am happy to clarify.

  20. says

    Just so you are all clear, the #soccerally program is NOT a GLAAD initiative; it was started earlier this year by gay4soccer, a collective of GLBT (& allied) soccer fans sharing their passion of the game while championing the cause of acceptance and inclusion amongst team management, players, and fan supporter groups.

    The #soccerally program has nothing to do with GLAAD and I would suggest that a group dedicated to the sport with ACTUAL, PERSONAL & REAL connections to the league, teams and players, would be better positioned to advocate change than the wahhmbulance chasers that GLAAD can sometimes be.

  21. RBearSAT says

    Amazing to read the comments following this report. You get those who feel, as I do, that the teachable moment occurred and Clark did the right thing and will hopefully continue to do so. Then you get those who don’t believe in second chances and are all over the map on punitive actions against him, including one person who thinks this warrants jail time (bizarre).

    Honestly, while I’d love to blame our community for its schizophrenic reaction to things like this, it does show we are learning even within the community. The question is, when will we have our own teachable moments? Some in the community just don’t know how to act in public and carry that dysfunction into the public space as “community leaders.” Others do more disservice to the community by hypocritical actions of their own (I can chastise someone for calling someone a “f***ing faggot” but I feel I have every right to call a Christian all sorts of slanderous names).

    Thankfully there are people like Clark who learn from these incidents and will help make the world a better place. Just think, his initial act, his follow-up, and the image of the community surely has already had an impact on his fellow players to hopefully avoid more of these incidents.

  22. Kenny says

    I have a feeling my tweets to him on twitter helped him to see the errors of his was.I was brutally honest with the dude heres hoping hes sincere this time.