An executive with UK ice hockey team the Sheffield Steelers has apologized after he called a gay couple caught on kiss-cam “disgusting.”
David Simms, who doubles up as the team’s PA announcer, made the comments during a live broadcast on the arena in-house tv last Saturday night.
Pretty mental what's going on in Sheffield Steelers-land. Been saying the 'individual' should have gone years ago purely on his Twitter use!
— Liam Ruane (@LiamAlex89) March 7, 2017
When the two men embraced on the arena kiss-cam, Simms said: “That’s disgusting – Security, get rid of them.”
He has since apologized but insisted that the comment was an ad-lib joke with no ill intent.
This is just an insult : Sheffield Steelers executive goes on film to deny deliberately making homophobic remarks https://t.co/qZElI14ItI
— LGBT Sheffield (@LGBTSheffield) March 7, 2017
He told The Star:
“I am not homophobic, you have known me long enough. I haven’t got a bad bone in my body.
“If the comments made upset or offended anybody then of course I apologize completely.
“It was a fun moment on the kiss-cam, we were flicking between different couples, we were trying to trying to win offer tickets for the final of the Challenge Cup…and then the comment came out…Which again I apologized for if people take offense.
“Maybe I live in a different world, I can’t really see the offense I have caused. But if people have been offended…people who know me know I don’t like to offend. And I am truly sorry if I did do.”
Simms insisted that the majority of people in the arena knew he was joking but lamented that “in this day and age you cannot upset one person.”
He also complained that while such comments would have been treated as jokes in the past, “unfortunately I think there are some people who wake up looking to be offended.”
He added that he is considering offers of counselling from the LGBT community.
Although a statement suggests that no action will be taken by the club, local Councillor Neale Gibson, who is also a director of the company that owns the club arena, intends to take the issue further.
@shamazipan I can assure you as Sec of LGBT Sheffield and Director of SIV I will be taking up this matter with managment. It horrifying.
— Cllr Neale Gibson (@cllrnealegibson) March 6, 2017
Many club fans have noted that Simms is known for making racist and misogynist comments.
— Craig Forman (@FormanCraig) March 6, 2017
— Dabe1971 (@dabe1971) March 6, 2017
Watch some highlights from the game below.