Canadian writer Marc de Foy apologized for an insensitive comment about Michael Sam.
Sam was the National Football League’s first openly gay draft pick last year and is now the Canadian Football League’s first gay player with his signing to the Montreal Alouettes.
De Foy wrote for Journal de Montreal about Sam’s comment in a press conference: “I’m so excited to get back on the field.” De Foy wrote that it was “strange to hear coming from a homosexual” because it basically meant he was “excited to get out there and hit someone.”
“I present my sincerest apologies to all those offended by the content of my sentence in my text on Michael Sam,” de Foy tweeted.
De Foy also apologized to Sam and readers in a May 28 column. “Many people have condemned a comment I made about Michael Sam,” he wrote. “To all those people, I say you’re absolutely right.”
He added that “I lacked judgment and I sincerely regret it. Also I offer my sincere apologies to the people who judged my comments homophobic. It was not my intention, please believe.”
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In apologizing to Sam, de Foy commented that “Michael Sam is not only an example for society and the gay community, he is a role model for young people.”
The Quebec LGBT Council called the column a “breach of journalistic ethics” and complained to the press council, the Huffington Post Canada reported.
In a letter on its website, the LGBT Council wrote de Foy’s comment was “not in the image of a professional journalist” and called for a retraction.
iMediaEthics has asked the LGBT Council for comment on de Foy’s apology. We’ve also asked Journal de Montreal for comment.
Last year, ESPN apologized for a report on Sam’s showering habits as an NFL draft pick, as iMediaEthics reported at the time. ESPN said the report “failed to meet the standards we have set in reporting on LGBT-related topics in sports.”
The Journal de Montreal is one of several news outlets that suspended and then ended its relationship with Canadian journalist Francois Bugingo last month amid accusations of fabrication. Bugingo later publicly came clean to the accusations and admitted his “errors of judgment.”