Carles Puyol has apologised for his ‘clumsy joke’ reply to a now deleted tweet from Iker Casillas that announced that he was gay.
The two former Spain internationals exchanged tweets early on Sunday, with Casillas stating ‘I hope you respect me, I’m gay’, and former teammate Puyol replying to said tweet saying ‘It’s time to tell our story, Iker’.
After a number of hours, Casillas deleted the aforementioned tweet, claiming that his account was hacked in a follow up tweet: “Hacked account. Luckily everything in order. Apologies to all my followers. And of course, more apologies to the LGBT community.”
Now Puyol has come out and apologised but rather than claiming he was hacked, has accepted full responsibility for the tweet sent out on his Twitter account.
“I have made a mistake. Sorry for a clumsy joke with no bad intentions and totally out of place. I understand that it may have hurt sensitivities. All my respect and support for the LGTBIQA+ community.”
The two World Cup winners have been roundly, and rightly, criticised for their tweets as they emboldened homophobic football fans on social media and hurt football’s strides towards making the game more inclusive.
The most damning indictment of Casillas and Puyol came from Josh Cavallo, the Adelaide United defender who came out as gay in October 2021. Carvallo labelled the tweets as ‘beyond disrespectful’, stating:
“Iker Casillas and Carles Puyol joking and making fun out of coming out in football is disappointing,” he tweeted. “It’s a difficult journey that any LGBTQ+ people have to go through. To see my role models and legends of the game make fun out of coming out and my community is beyond disrespectful.”