Simms was working as rink announcer at Steelers’ home game against Coventry Blaze 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.”
Fans took to social media to blast the comments, insisting they were homophobic. Simms initially tried to defend himself, but eventually issued an apology on Twitter.
This was followed by a statement on the Steelers’ official website, but Simms, the club and the league are still under fire for attempting to sweep the issue under the carpet.
We take a look at the reaction on Twitter from the past few days:
Two blokes kiss on the big screen and @steelershockey announcer says "that's disgusting, get them out" joke or not, that's homophobic.
— kieran (@kielawrence97) March 4, 2017
@officialEIHL I think you need to take some sort of action against homophobia from David Simms. It's not welcome.
— Thomas Brownlee (@Doctor_Thomas) March 4, 2017
Well Simms has stooped to a new low, joke or not homophobia should be long gone by now in all walks of life
— Matt Senior (@MattSenior84) March 4, 2017
@Simmsey people are quick to get offended for others. As a gay hockey fan I'm not offended, I don't think things should be immune from jokes
— Dave john (@Fizzpup) March 5, 2017
— Matty Hogarth (@MattyMite) March 5, 2017
— Taz (@Tazzy0705) March 5, 2017
— Bob Westerdale (@westerdale10) March 6, 2017
@shamazipan I can assure you as Sec of LGBT Sheffield and Director of SIV I will be taking up this matter with managment. It horrifying.
— Cllr Neale Gibson (@cllrnealegibson) March 6, 2017
— The Inferno (@theInfernoCoUk) March 6, 2017
— Dougie Clarkson (@ClarksonDougie) March 6, 2017
And It's not the first time I've been disgusted by the toxic, discriminatory culture that exists within British ice hockey.
— Tom Hurley (@TomHurley) March 7, 2017
— James (@JamesSL1977) March 7, 2017
Never let homophobic abuse & bullying go unchallenged. #nobystanders
It's not one incident, latest in a long list
— Jason (@Jay_Wales) March 7, 2017
Hate crime? Give over! It was a poorly worded joke. The man himself has been on kiss cam with another male member of the organisation! https://t.co/GUubGXuhuD
— Frozen Steel MNL (@FrozenSteelMNL) March 7, 2017
Nice audition for a Trump Cabinet post here, Jamie. https://t.co/yaHJF1PnP8
— Paul Sullivan (@SullyDevil) March 7, 2017
@officialEIHL our sport is being derided because of Simms homophobia – stop fiddling while Rome burns for heavens sake! Act Now!!
— Paul Bratby (@PaulBratby) March 7, 2017
The David Simms rollcall
– Racism on Twitter
– Continual abuse of a person on Twitter
– Repeated homophobia online AND OVER AN ARENA MIC
— Mad Online (@LiamIsNotDead) March 4, 2017
British ice hockey going through a period of big changes. One way to deal with that is to make sure we send the right messages as a sport…
— Nick Hayman (@StripeyHayman) March 7, 2017