Cape Town - Chiefs lock Michael Allardice has apologised for making a homophobic slur at the their post-season party at the Okoroire hot pools, near Matamata.
According to the Stuff.co.nz website, Waikato man Brendan Barraclough, who was at the hot pools with two friends, heard Allardice yell, "Here come the gays, here come the gays", followed by another comment.
Allardice has owned up , saying the comments were unjustifiable, but were directed at two team mates who were dressed up and just walked into the premises.
He released the following statement via the Chiefs’ official website:
Yesterday while enjoying post season team bonding at a pub and local swimming pool I made a rude comment directed at my team-mate. It was said in jest at a team-mate and I did not intend to offend anyone.
When I learned of Brendan’s Facebook post and comments to media, I realised he was referring to the comments I had directed at my team-mate. I was not aware he was there, or that he had mistaken these comments as being directed at him. They were not.
I have today contacted Brendan and apologised for the offence caused by my inappropriate comments, regardless of who they were directed at. I have expressed to Brendan that I have taken full responsibility for my actions, but I have also assured him that there was no malicious intent in my comments - I wasn’t yelling at a stranger to inflict hurt.
I am deeply embarrassed and ashamed of the hurt I’ve caused Brendan and the wider LGBT community and anyone else who I have offended by my comments. I casually used very poor language and have learned a very big lesson today.
I have chosen to come forward because I believe in being accountable and taking responsibility for your actions, and also because I hope this can be a learning experience for others that homophobic language, even in jest, has wide-reaching and hurtful effects.
I have also apologised to the Chiefs, as my behaviour yesterday does not reflect the values of our team and organisation.