Bray Wanderers general manager posted ‘joke’ about Florida massacre
THE general manager of Bray Wanderers, Martin (Murt) O’Connor has apologised following the posting of a ‘joke’ on social media about the killing of people in a Florida nightclub. He had written on Facebook: ‘Man opens fire killing 50 in a gay club in Florida’. ‘Apparently he wasn’t a straight shooter.’ The Bray Wanderers general manager later posted an apology to his Facebook page.
Club chairman Denis O’Connor said that the post was ‘inap- propriate’ following public outcry about its content.
Denis said: ‘He has apologised. I am happy on a personal level that he doesn’t subscribe to homophobic views, and nor does Bray Wanderers. We don’t believe in any victimisation of any kind.’
THE Chairman of Bray Wanderers FC Denis O’Connor has said that a Facebook post by the club’s general manager Martin O’Connor was inappropriate.
On Sunday evening, Martin O’Connor put up a post about the tragic events which had unfolded in Orlando, where a number of people were shot and killed in a nightclub.
‘Man opens fire killing 50 in a gay club in Florida,’ read the post. ‘Apparently he wasn’t a straight shooter.’
‘ The club is still investigating it. It was an inappropriate comment,’ said Denis O’Connor.
‘He has apologised. I am happy on a personal level that he doesn’t subscribe to homophobic views, and nor does Bray Wanderers. We don’t believe in any victimisation of any kind,’ he added.
Denis O’Connor said that a second post – which depicted a monkey and the caption ‘Sterling leaving the stadium in Marseille. Or maybe this is racist from me!’ – had been misinterpreted.
‘He is not the author of that,’ said Mr O’Connor, who added that Martin was responding to another person in Liverpool who had criticised him for only wishing Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland, and not England, well. He said that in response, Martin was illustrating what he thought that person had been posting about that player on a previous occasion.
‘People make mistakes. People in the national arena made similar mistakes recently and apologised,’ said Denis O’Connor.
Martin O’Connor posted an apology on his Facebook page which read: ‘I refer to two recent posts on this page which could and did cause offence. I sincerely apologise to all and will shortly be closing this page.’
Local business owner Darren Darker wrote to the club as well as the FAI to complain about the statement.
‘It was inappropriate for a person in his position who has influence over malleable young minds,’ said Mr Darker. ‘He is general manager of a community organisation with influence over the policies and the attitudes of the organisation.’
Mr Darker expressed the view that the post was distressing and ignorant. ‘It says little both for the gentleman in question and the football club that he runs.’
‘When a person is in charge of a community organisation especially one as old and high profile as Bray Wanderers in this day and age, all communications from senior management staff and players are subject to critique and analysis. They hold a position of trust and influence as role models that far exceeds their specific job titles.’
In response to an email from Mr Darker, the FAI said in an email seen by this newspaper that they will ‘immediately investigate the matter which you have brought to your attention’.