Bolton insist Dion Charles ‘has grown up’ since posting discriminatory tweets
Bolton insist new forward Dion Charles is not racist or homophobic after discriminatory tweets came to light.
The 26-year-old Northern Ireland international, who signed for Wanderers from League One rivals Accrington on New Year’s Day, had apologised for the messages he posted “many years ago”.
The PA news agency understands the Football Association is investigating Charles’ tweets, which were reported to have been posted between 2011 and 2013.
Bolton chairman Sharon Brittan said: “I am aware that some tweets which Dion Charles posted several years ago contained discriminatory and deeply offensive words.
“Myself and Bolton Wanderers Football Club do not condone any forms of discrimination whatsoever and, quite simply, there is no place for it in football or society in general.
“What was said in those posts was completely unacceptable and I am pleased that Dion has taken full responsibility for his actions and unreservedly apologised for the hurt and embarrassment caused.
“Whilst not making any excuses for him, I have spoken with Dion and he has acknowledged that he has grown up considerably since he posted those comments and that he is not racist or homophobic.”
Wanderers manager Ian Evatt added: “I was very disappointed to hear about the tweets that Dion posted several years ago and I am pleased that he offered an immediate apology for the offence caused.
“I know that Dion wants to do his best whilst representing Bolton Wanderers and that means off the field as well as on it.
“He fully understands the magnitude of his actions and will do everything he can to support the club in making football a game that welcomes everybody.”
Charles had earlier issued an apology in a series of posts on his official Twitter account.
It read: “First of all, I want to say how sorry I am for the hurt I have caused to those who have read my tweets.
“I particularly want to apologise to the LGBTQ+ and Muslim communities for the offensive words I used.
“There is no place in football or society as a whole for discriminatory and hateful views and I want to make it clear that I have grown up considerably since I posted those tweets many years ago. I am not racist and I am not homophobic.
“I know that Bolton Wanderers Football Club works hard to promote inclusion and kick out hatred and I completely support this.
“I will do everything while I am representing this club to help make football a game for everyone.
“Once again, I wish to reiterate how sorry I am for the offence and embarrassment my actions may have caused.”