Drogheda Untied midfielder Luke Rossiter has offered a full and unconditional apology for remarks he made in the wake of a trial in Belfast.
Paddy Jackson and Stuart Olding were acquitted of raping a 19-year-old girl at a party in Jackson’s Belfast home in June 2016.
Rossiter posted on twitter shortly after the verdict to say he was “delighted for Paddy Jackson” before going on to make disparaging remarks about the complainant.
He quickly removed the tweet and shut down his social media accounts, but screenshots spread and users were heavily critical of the 19-year-old's remarks.
In his apology posted by the club, Rossiter failed to explain why he made the remarks stating instead that “the truth is I don’t really know why I did it as I have no reasoning behind it.”
The footballer began the statement by saying he was “deeply sorry for the comment I made on social media. It was a stupid and immature thing to do.”
Rossiter remains suspended from playing by the club as they continue an investigation into the incident; he has vowed though to donate his wages to an organisation that assist victims of rape, sexual assault and sexual abuse:
“It is clear I still have some growing up to do in relation to how I conduct myself off the pitch as well as on it.
“If the club and fans can forgive me I would like to start that growing by donating any money that I receive from Drogheda United for the remainder of the season to the Rape Crisis North East based in Dundalk which has an outreach programme in Drogheda.
“I would also like to offer my time to promote awareness of such sensitive issues and I am also keen to learn how such issues can impact and affect people’s lives.
“Once again I’m sorry for any hurt I have caused."
Adding to the statement posted by the player on the club’s website, they say: “While the club acknowledges Luke’s whole-hearted apology, an internal investigation is still ongoing.
“Drogheda United are also carrying out a review of club policy and plan to educate all players and staff in relation to the impact their opinions and actions can have on others.
“Luke Rossiter has been informed that he will not be considered for selection until such time that the investigation is completed and reviewed.”