Oxford City terminate striker’s contract.
Lee Steele sacked by Oxford City over Gareth Thomas homophobic tweet
Oxford City have sacked striker Lee Steele after he made a homophobic Twitter comment about Welsh rugby legend Gareth Thomas.
Thomas is currently taking part in Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5 and, passing comment on the show, Steele tweeted: ‘I wouldn’t fancy the bed next to Gareth Thomas #padlockmya**e’.
Members of the Oxford City board were made aware of the 38-year-old forward’s comment, and have decided to sack the player.
A club statement said: ‘The Oxford City board have decided to release Lee Steele in view of his recent comment via social media which is considered seriously contrary to the ethos of the club.’
Mike Ford, manager of the Southern Premier League club, defended Steele’s character but agreed that dismissal was the right course of action. He commented: ‘On this occasion Lee’s had to pay for his error of judgement.
‘He’s made a homophobic comment, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s homophobic.’
Oxford City should be given great credit for their speedy, and correct, reaction to Lee Steele’s outrageous remarks.
A couple of points worth raising. 1) Would the non-league club have been as forthright in their actions if the player in question wasn’t 38 years of age? 2) Would Lee Steele dare make such statement within earshot of Gareth Thomas. The answer to both points may well be in the negative.