French rugby player Mathieu Bastareaud has issued an apology after using a homophobic slur in an on-pitch altercation.
Bastareaud’s side, Toulon, was playing Italian team Benetton yesterday in a Champions Cup match. In the last minute of the match Bastareaud got into an argument with Benetton player, Sebastian Negri.
He calls Negri a ‘fucking faggot’.
Later, Bastareaud, captain of Toulon, took to his Twitter to apologize.
Bonsoir tout le monde,
Je tiens à m’excuser de ma réaction aux insultes du joueur Italien.
J’ai mal réagi en répondant à sa provocation, j’en suis sincèrement navré pour les personnes que j’ai pu blesser.
— Mathieu Bastareaud (@BastaOfficiel) January 14, 2018
Translated into English it reads, ‘Good evening everybody, I want to apologize to my response to the insults of the Italian Player. I reacted badly in responding to his provocation, I am sincerely sorry for the people I hurt.’
Toulon beat Benetton 36-0.
‘Not homophobic by any means’
Today, Toulon issued a statement repeating Bastareaud’s apology and stating their captain is ‘is not homophobic by any means.’
Nevertheless, European Professional Club Rugby has confirmed that it is investigating the player after receiving a complaint about his language. If found guilty of misconduct he faces a ban of between six weeks to a year.
‘Details of the independent Disciplinary Hearing and any other disciplinary matters arising from Round 5 of EPCR’s competitions will be announced as soon as practicable.’
Bastareaud has played international rugby for the national French team 42 times. A suspension could see him missing out playing in the upcoming Six Nations tournament, due to commence 3 February.
One of those commentating on the match was former England player Andy Goode, who heard the insult and quickly posted about it on his own Twitter.
So many idiots on here condemning me for highlighting Bastareaud’s homophobic outburst saying it’s banter! Have a think before you tweet abuse at me and stop living in the dark ages! Rugby is an all inclusive, family game and there’s no place in any walk of life for what he said
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) January 15, 2018
Goode said, ‘Absolutely disgusting and no place for it anywhere. I hope @ChampionsCup make an example of @BastaOfficiel and ban him for a long time.’
He also responded to claims by some Twitter users that it was just ‘banter’ and that Bastareaud was responding to insults hurled in his direction by Negri.
‘People coming at me saying I’ve ignored what Sebastian Negri said, I was commentating on the game and I heard Negri say “watch his swinging arm, late in the f***ing game” then he pushed Bastareaud. Only provocation of @BastaOfficiel was being pushed, disgraceful reaction and slur.’
People coming at me saying I’ve ignored what Sebastian Negri said, I was commentating on the game and I heard Negri say “watch his swinging arm, late in the f***ing game” then he pushed Bastareaud. Only provocation of @BastaOfficiel was being pushed, disgraceful reaction and slur
— Andy Goode (@AndyGoode10) January 14, 2018