Oxford City Sack Striker Lee Steele Over Crude Homophobic Tweet

Alan Duffy

11th, January 2012


By Alan Duffy

They may only be a Southern Football Premier League side, but the decision by Oxford City to sack player Lee Steele over homophobic Twitter comments he made will have a significant influence on the game in general.

In refering to the out-gay Welsh rugby player, Gareth Thomas, and his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, Steele Tweeted: “I wouldnt fancy the bed next to Gareth Thomas #padlockeda**ehole”.

The club were quick to terminate the striker’s contract after learning of the remarks in a move that is sure to irk a lot of football fans who will no doubt defend Steele’s comments as being just “banter”. Except, we don’t accept racist “banter” so surely homophobic “banter” should be dealt with in a similar way.

Indeed, if I had my way, I’d ban the (over)use of the word “banter” completely. It smacks of Soccer AM and the Lineker/Shearer/Lawro/Hansen MOTD quartet of out-dated backslapping mediocrity.

City released the following statement: “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.”

Manager Mike Ford said: “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.”

Steele himself has yet to comment but it’s a positive development in the fight to make football welcoming to everyone.

Although one wonders if the fact that Steele was well past his best, at 38 years of age, made the decision by the club that little bit easier?

Posted in FAIL, Media

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  1. Chimpo says:

    If Liverpool wouldnt sack Suarez for repeatedly calling Evra a negro (and in fact rather supported him) im pretty sure his age is what did it!

  2. Dan says:

    shit one for him

  3. Phil says:

    A suitable punishment, in my opinion, would be to put him on a rugby field with Gareth Thomas. Trust me, that guy does NOT match the gay=soft fairy stereotype.

  4. Chris says:

    Im pleased the club was bold enough to set a positive precedent. Iv two issues with this chaps tweet, obviously the implication that all gay men would want to rape him is pretty objectionable, but also i cant for the life of me work out how someone could padlock there own arse.

  5. james says:

    @hgo – your grammar is almost as bad as your views

  6. seb_c says:

    Why would a str8 man be even thinking about “gay sex”. I always believed that it was only homosexuals that made “homophobic” comments

  7. KingEric7 says:

    It’s his right to be homophobic as much as it’s anyone else’s right to be homosexual. I can’t imagine a single gay man cares about his views or even follows football for that matter.

  8. Cmdg says:

    @kingeric7 Stephen fry and elton John are gay and both follow football. Norwich and Watford to be precise. Oh and elton John was Watford chairman and is still on the board.

  9. unitedFixation says:

    Are we gonna see some Lee Steele T-Shirts. Or is that just Liverpool ??

  10. Anonymous says:


    That is Evra’s view of events, not Suarez’s. There’s no actual proof that Suarez repeatedly called him a negro, only Evra’s word. Suarez admitted to referring to Evra with that word once.

    As far as proof goes (Suarez’s admittance to using the term), I think it’s fair to say he made a very bad error in judgement, should serve his time, apologize, and get on with playing.

    This player seemed to have written the statement himself and the proof is on the internet for everyone to see. Very different cases.

    Just so you know the facts.

  11. Dave says:

    they sacked him cos of that??????

  12. Chimpo says:

    @Anonymous- please dont patronise me.

    Suarez has admitted using racist terms more than once- just google it

    You scousers and your ‘facts’ eh?

  13. Chris F says:

    @Chimpo , agreed.
    I believe he admitted saying it a few times including:
    “I dont talk to blacks”

  14. Gibby says:

    When will people in the public domain, especially footballers realise that commenting on social media sites is basically airing your personal beliefs and views for all to see and not ‘banter’ or ‘misinterpretated’. Banter is between you and yurr mates safe in the knowledge thats where it will stay. Not for thousands and millions to see. Rule no.1 from the P’s was – never discuss religion and politics in public. Think that needs to be extended to a more modern version icluding or facebook/ twitter ! ……… total GONK !

  15. __wowza says:

    @kingeric7: HI!

  16. Al says:

    If this is banter then I feel that Lee Steele should share the banter with gareth Thomas face to face. Also as for gay men not following football Gareth Thomas is a life long Cardiff city fan, and uses the Cardiff city goal celebrations as his try celebrations.

  17. Dave says:

    hey someone censored my post!!!

  18. Paul says:

    Lee Steele, one of my favourite Orient players, reduced to this. Sad. :(

    What with Alan Comfort, being another great Orient player, also known for his staunch homophobia, I propose that we should exclude ourselves from the league as we have become a breeding ground of homophobic activity.

    We should also be punished by being forced to watch football in the Olympic stadium from the highest tier possible ala Darlington.

    Add to that Elliot Omozusi & Aiden Palmer jail terms – we have become a horrible little family club.

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