Major League Soccer officials continue looking into this ugly incident Friday in Seattle, when NBC Sports Network cameras clearly caught Houston Dynamo midfielder Colin Clark directing an anti-gay slur toward a young ball boy at CenturyLink Field.
The Dynamo midfielder apologized via Twitter, but it’s hard to see where that will be sufficient.
Working against Clark is that last week’s incident isn’t even the first public remark made by an MLS player that could be construed as anti-gay. New England Revolution winger Lee Nguyen was on Twitter last month (when he was still with the Vancouver Whitecaps) when a Twitter message contained a homophobic slur. In that case, it was directed toward teammate Brad Knighton.
Clark’s choice to direct his words towards a child will surely be considered. Really, the only mystery now is whether Clark’s action lead to a fine or a short suspension (or both).
Recent precedents include West Ham’s Ravel Morrison, in England’s second tier, being fined about $11,000 US for a homophobic slur on Twitter. In the United States, the NBA has fined two of its stars (Kobe Bryant and Joakim Noah) in the last year for anti-gay slurs.