Footballer denies sending anti-gay Tom Daley HIV tweet

Welsh soccer player says he is victim of 'prank' after message on Twitter allegedly tells Olympic divers Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield to 'go bum each other' after missing out on a medal

Footballer denies sending anti-gay Tom Daley HIV tweet
31 July 2012

A Welsh footballer has sparked outrage after allegedly tweeting homophobic abuse about Olympic divers Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield.

Port Talbot Town Football Club midfielder Daniel Thomas denied posting the offensive comments on Twitter following the athletes missing out on a medal in yesterday’s 10 meter platform event in London.

In a statement, the football club claimed the tweet was a ‘misguided prank’ as a result of Thomas leaving his phone unattended.

But despite the player’s account being deleted, an alleged screen-grab of the tweet continues to spark outrage on the social networking site.

‘If there is any consolation for finishing fourth at least Daley and Waterfield can go and bum each other #teamHIV’ @10danthomas10 reportedly tweeted.

The football club say they are investigating the matter and the player issued an immediate apology for the comments which appeared on his Twitter feed.

‘Both the player and club wish to apologise unreservedly to those offended and in no way condone such views,’ the football club’s statement read.

‘All footballers at Port Talbot Town will also be briefed on the appropriate use of social media and ensuring it is used securely and responsibly.’

Deborah Jack, chief executive of the UK’s National AIDS Trust, slammed the ‘prank’ as damaging to the charity’s work in educating people about HIV.

She said: ‘So-called jokes about HIV being a "gay disease" continue to damage our efforts in stamping out HIV-related prejudice and homophobia.’

The tweet follows the arrest of a 17-year-old in Weymouth today (31 July) who sent Daley, 18, a ‘malicious’ tweet telling him he had let his late father down after finishing fourth in the competition.

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