Scottish football referee quits because of online homophobia

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A top-level Scottish football referee was made to resign after the homophobic posts he used to write on his Facebook page went viral. Scottish FA referee Stephen Brown decided to quit over the Facebook messages, which date from 2010, and target the Glasgow-based Celtic Football Club in general and their manager Neil Lennon in part with a verbal abuse, containing numerous hateful homophobic slurs. Brown faced an independent disciplinary hearing over the messages in 2014, when he was a referee for a lower football tier, but was let off at the time with a censure and a slap on the wrist. However, the referee is now qualified to oversee the top tier of the sport, meaning he could have been called upon to officiate at Celtic games. He confirmed that he resigned because he regrets about his words and he is ready to take full responsibility for them. He added: “Refereeing has given me a second chance in life and I am grateful for that opportunity. I am devastated that my actions from the past will prevent me from fulfilling my potential as a match official but appreciate that perceptions linger, regardless of how much sorrow or regret I express”.

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