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Sebastian Lletget, awaiting punishment, apologizes for homophobic slur

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LA Galaxy midfielder faced media and didn’t shy away from important topic.

MLS: LA Galaxy at San Jose Earthquakes Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Sebastian Lletget continues to deal with the fallout regarding his use of a homophobic slur on a social media post over the weekend, and while he awaits a likely punishment, the LA Galaxy midfielder used his platform in the MLS Media Day press conference on Wednesday to apologize for his conduct again.

“I just want to address something real quick,” Lletget told reporters. “For those of you who don’t know, there was an incident that happened last week, and honestly I feel terrible about it. And that’s why I’m addressing it now. For those of you who also haven’t seen my statement, I messed up and I’m trying to take full responsibility about it. I said a word that shouldn’t have been said and although there’s been a lot of discussion and debate about the meaning of the word, because of different dialects of Spanish and cultures, but the truth is, it’s a harmful word and it shouldn’t have been said on any level. I’m working with the league now and I’ve no plans, it’s early days, to work with the LGBTQ+ community, and how we can get this word out of the game and out of people’s mouth, including myself.”

Lletget, who immediately apologized and took responsibility on Saturday when he was contacted by Outsports about his use of the slur towards Galaxy teammate Julian Araujo, pulled down the Instagram post and awaits word from the league regarding the punishment he will receive.

Lletget said that he was not apologizing in order to mitigate a possible punishment, but because he believes it was the right and necessary thing to do. He said he does not know what he will face in terms of sanction, but will accept the punishment he receives and will aim to be educated and in turn to help educate others on matters important to the LGBTQ+ community.

I expect we’ll get a specific statement from MLS in the next two days regarding Lletget, and I would not be surprised if he is suspended at least one game for his conduct. Past precedent in the league has been to suspend players who use homophobic slurs at each other in games three-game suspensions, so it is possible he’ll receive that punishment. We’ll see.

At the same time, while Lletget should not have used the slur in the first place, he seems genuinely contrite and prepared to not only face the immediate consequences but also become a better person overall. What’s happened has happened, but hopefully this will help stamp homophobia out of the sport and he will do his part to do that work moving forward.

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