The Football Association have announced today that young Everton defender Mason Holgate has been issued with an official warning following an investigation into homophobic tweets he wrote six years ago when he was 15.
His online comments came to light following the scuffle between Holgate and Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino when the defender pushed the Brazilian into the hoardings off the pitch, with Firmino subsequently abusing him in Portuguese. At the time, Holgate complained to referee Bobby Madley that Firmino had racially abused him, but it was later clarified that while he had indeed been insulted, it was not of a discriminatory nature.
The FA added that Holgate would have to undergo a ‘mandatory FA inclusion programme’ as well for the defender who was at Barnsley when he had posted the comments. Here is the official statement, courtesy of Sky Sports -
“The FA has concluded its investigation into historic tweets posted by Everton’s Mason Holgate.
“Having carefully considered all of the available evidence, including his response, the tweets themselves and a response from the club, the player has been given a formal warning and directed to undertake a mandatory FA inclusion programme.”
Soon after the fiasco at the Merseyside Derby a torrent of hateful tweets aimed at the player led to his shutting his Twitter account down, but his historical posts had already been publicized by then.
When asked about the tweets at the time, Sam Allardyce had said that the club had learned about them.
“In terms of awareness, yes. In terms of when it happened, years ago, he is fully aware and didn’t need to be reminded of what the situation was.
”They already know, the players. Historically we go through meeting after meeting from all areas, through the FA, through the PFA, that all are shown what to do and what not to do.
”This is a historical tweet from many years ago so he doesn’t need any reminding. From more than just this year we have pointed out to players about what they do and what they don’t do.”
With the FA having ruled on both incidences, hopefully the player can now put this behind him. Holgate was reported to be undergoing minor ankle surgery soon and will likely miss the rest of this season.