Ireland's only all male gay football team describe Martin O'Neill's 'queer' remark as 'disappointing'
Published 07/06/2016 | 10:06
Ireland only all male gay football team describes Ireland manager Martin O Neill’s 'queer' quip as unhelpful and disappointing.
The Derry native has received backlash for an ill-advised joke he made during the Bon Voyage to the Boys in Green event for Today FM at the Cork Opera House last week.
Referring to his trip to this year's Superbowl, O'Neill joked that Steve Guppy and Steve Walford had also made the journey, in case people thought that himself and Keane were "queers".
He apologised for his remark yesterday and while a spokesperson for Dublin Devils FC has praised O'Neill's contrition, he also said that the situation was 'disappointing'.
Speaking as Ireland continue their preparations for Euro 2016, Dublin Devils chairman John McAree said the comments send the wrong message to young LGBTI teens who love football and idolise people like Martin O'Neill.
“This is the wrong message to send to the LGBTI community a week before the Euro 2016 championships. O Neill is an idol to many young gay teens all over Ireland. His comments will make them feel isolated, confused and different. Many young LGBTI men and women play football at local level and support Ireland at International level.
“Many club members from the Dublin Devils will be in France next week wearing the Green Jersey supporting and shouting for Ireland. The club was disappointed to hear O Neill’s comments as they do nothing to help with the ongoing issue of homophobia in the world of football – in fact, his comments are part of the problem!
"Our sexuality does not define us in the club. We see ourselves as a group of gay men who love to watch, support and play football."
The club chairman went on to say that he spoke for the entire club when he expressed his wish that we could now put these comments behind us and focus on getting behind Ireland and offering the team as much support and encouragement as we possibly can.