SEATTLE – A Seattle Sounders FC ball boy was called a gay slur by a player for the visiting Houston Dynamo Friday night.
It happened 6:58 into the game. Microphones for the NBC Sports Network broadcast picked up winger Colin Clark using the slur. It was a throw-in situation and Clark apparently was upset that he didn’t get the ball faster from the ball boy.
Clark later apologized on his Twitter feed.
"I'd like to offer a sincere apology to everyone who watched the game, especially the ball boy for whom I used awful language towards," Clark posted. "I didn't mean to disrespect anyone and am sorry for letting my emotions get the best of me. It's not who I am and it won't happen again."
In a later post, Clark wrote "@gay4soccer I'm very sorry for my actions tonight and I would love for you to consider me a #soccerally moving forward."
The Dynamo said Clark will apologize to the boy in person.
Major League Soccer said it is looking into the incident to determine disciplinary action.
"We are aware of the incident involving Houston Dynamo midfielder Colin Clark during the game in Seattle Friday night, and his public apology for it," the league said in a statement. "MLS is conducting a thorough review of the facts and examining possible disciplinary action."
A Sounders spokesperson said the team is letting the league handle the situation.
Seattle Times blogger Joshua Mayers said it's not just what Clark said, but who he said it to. The ball boys are usually teenage youth team players from the area.
"It would be awful if he said it to a teammate. It would be awful if he said it to a referee or a coach, but to say it to a young teenage ball boy on the sidelines, I think, just makes it awful," said Mayers.
Other local youth soccer players say the language is inexcusable.
"That would ruin my whole day," said Drew Horton. "Having someone inspiring like that come down and tell you that, it would be awful."
"It might have been in the heat of the moment, but if he had that thought in his brain in the first place, there's something wrong there," said Drew's father, Jon."
The Sounders won the game 2-0.
KING 5's Elisa Hahn and Travis Pittman contributed to this report.