On Friday, Colin Clark was caught on camera directing a slur commonly used against gays at a ballboy. The Houston Dynamo midfielder apologized immediately after the game, but he always knew there would be consequences.
Clark, 27, was fined an undisclosed amount and suspended three games by Major League Soccer on Wednesday. He was also ordered to attend diversity and sensitivity training by commissioner Don Garber, according to MLSSoccer.com.
"Major League Soccer will not tolerate this type of behavior from its players or staff at any time, under any circumstances," Garber said. "Colin Clark has expressed sincere remorse for his actions and I believe that he will learn from this incident."
It took place early in Friday's game between Houston and the Seattle Sounders. The ball went out of play, and Clark was expecting the ballboy to throw it right back to him. When he didn't, Clark used an epithet against him.
The seven-year MLS veteran accepted the punishment and apologized in a statement.
"I am sorry about what happened during the Seattle match," Clark said. "I have personally apologized to the ball boy, and I want to take this chance to say I'm sorry to everyone that I've offended. I intend to never use those words again in any context. There is no excuse for them. What I said does not properly represent who I am or what I believe. I made a mistake that I truly regret. I accept the punishment that has been handed down by MLS, and I want to learn from this incident and move forward."
See Clark's slur in the video below.