NI footballer ‘embarrassed’ by video of Belfast lewd act
Gavin Whyte and another man filmed exposing themselves near Belfast City Hall
Northern Ireland international footballer Gavin Whyte is to be disciplined after a video emerged of him walking through Belfast city centre semi-naked and engaged in a lewd act. File image: Liam McBurney/PA Wire.
Gavin Whyte described the incident as a “moment of stupidity” and said that he regrets it very much.
“I can only apologise to anyone I offended and to those I let down by my behaviour,” he said in a statement issued through his club, Oxford United.
“I am embarrassed beyond words but all I can do is try to move on, concentrate on my football, and make sure that nothing like this ever happens again.”
Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill said Whyte’s behaviour was “clearly unacceptable” and “far below the standards” expected of a footballer who represents his country.
Oxford United also branded his conduct unacceptable, insisting it was “totally out of character” and a “moment of madness”.
The video emerged on social media on Monday night, the same evening the 22-year-old Belfast man was being honoured for his exploits on the pitch at a sports awards ceremony in the city.
In the video, Whyte, who was formerly with Irish League side Crusaders, is seen with another man walking down a pavement beside Belfast City Hall, both with their trousers and pants down around their knees, exposing themselves.
O’Neill said: “Gavin’s actions in the video are clearly unacceptable and fall far below the standards that we expect from a Northern Ireland international.
“I know that Oxford United will discipline him appropriately for this significant mistake and both his club and the Irish FA will put in place measures to make sure that he learns from it.”
Oxford United manager Karl Robinson said: “It is totally out of character.
“Gavin is a quiet, respectful young man who is totally devastated by this. I have rarely heard anyone so remorseful for something that he regrets and knows he shouldn’t have done.
“Clearly he had drunk too much, and we will deal with that too, but whether you are a footballer or not that sort of behaviour is wrong on every level.
“We will sit down with Gavin today and we will remind him in no uncertain terms of his responsibilities.
“We have psychological and behavioural support here to help him get through this. He is a great kid and I hope the fans can forgive him for one moment of madness.”
A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesman said: “Police are aware of a video on social media and are conducting inquiries into the matter.” - PA