Tony Smith says David Simms’ comments during Saturday’s fixture against Coventry Blaze were “foolish and thoughtless” and has stressed his actions “do not reflect the attitude or policy of the Sheffield Steelers towards the LGBT community”.
Simms was working as rink announcer at the game when he tried to make a joke as two men were filmed on the “kiss-cam” being shown around the Arena’s in-house TV service.
As the camera panned across the crowd, two men kissed each other on screen and Simms said: “That’s disgusting – security, get rid of them.”
The Steelers’ boss has now issued a statement on the club’s official website offering a “sincere apology to anyone who was upset” by the comments and stressing that the organisation “in no way condones them”.
“David’s actions on Saturday night were foolish and thoughtless – I have spoken to him at length and he is very sorry for all the hurt and upset he has caused to the LGBT community,” said Smith.
“Yesterday I spoke with Neale Gibson of LGBT Sheffield explaining the events which surrounded the incident on Saturday night – Neale has very kindly offered advice which we are taking.
“I have also been in contact with Stonewall to discuss an LGBT programme the Steelers could participate in. Their policy and motto “acceptance without exception” is one the Steelers have always tried to follow.
“I must stress David’s actions do not reflect the attitude or policy of the Sheffield Steelers towards the LGBT community – we are a family and welcome each and everyone to the Steelers games without exception and hope this regrettable incident brings the Steelers and the LGBT community closer together in the future.”