Stephanie Rice apologises for homophobic tweet
Wednesday 08 September 2010
Triple Olympic champion Stephanie Rice has made a public apology for her homophobic remarks on Twitter which resulted in her losing a sponsorship deal with Jaguar.
Rice tweeted "Suck on that f****ts" after Australia beat South Africa in a rugby union match, angering gay rights groups, with former rugby league star Ian Roberts, himself gay, labelling her an "idiot".
A remorseful Rice had to compose herself several times at a press conference in Sydney, where she explained her comments were out of character and not intended to offend.
"I owe it to those who I have offended to publicly say I am sorry," she said.
"I am not a person who judges others or speaks in a way that hurts others.
"It is not me to give offence to other people no matter who they are.
"My comments were thoughtless and careless and I've learned a lot in the last couple of days.
"I've learned I must think before I speak and this has been a very important lesson."
The 22-year-old added: "I felt I've let a lot of people down.
"I just want people to know how sorry I am. I'm here to gain people's trust back and show how out of character it was."
Fellow Australian and Olympic diving champion Matthew Mitcham, who is openly gay, came to Rice's defence, condemning her as thoughtless rather than homophobic.
Mitcham tweeted: "I agree, it was offensive and very thoughtless, but being friends with her for two years, I know she is not homophobic.
"She meant no malice and she has apologised for her careless comment posted in the excitement of the moment.
"Hopefully it'll be a wake up call to a lot of people that they can easily offend without meaning to, eg. 'That's so gay'."
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger 'optimistic' of making signing, Grzegorz Krychowiak and Edinson Cavani linked
Barbarians vs Samoa interrupted by sprinklers as fans criticise lack of Wi-Fi and poor seating at West Ham's Olympic Stadium
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2: Jose Mourinho uses forward Kenedy at left-back as frustration with Chelsea defence grows
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2: Blues' Twitter account jumps the gun, seconds before Joel Ward goal seals Eagles' victory
Chelsea 1 Crystal Palace 2 player ratings: Who was to blame for Chelsea's defeat? Did Pedro impress on his home debut? Sako and Ward star
- 1 Barbarians vs Samoa interrupted by sprinklers as fans criticise lack of Wi-Fi and poor seating at West Ham's Olympic Stadium
- 2 Watch the Supermoon live: How to see the brightest Moon of the year tonight
- 3 Hulk Hogan wants to be Donald Trump's running mate in the US Presidential election
- 4 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£28000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...
£22000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company's mission is to ma...
£13832 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This 5 star leisure destination on the w...
£20000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Account Manager is requ...