The centre back’s social media posts, which were originally generated eight years ago when he was 17, contained homophobic content and were pulled back into the public domain when team-mate Jake Daniels made the courageous decision to open up about his sexuality.
Daniels, who made his first-team debut for the Seasiders on the final day of the Championship season when coming off the bench away at Peterborough United, came out publicly earlier in the month, becoming the first openly gay male footballer in Britain to do so while still playing since Justin Fashanu in 1990.
Ekpiteta, who made 42 appearances for Neil Critchley’s men this term, apologised unreservedly for his actions as a naive teenager and took full responsibility for the posts.
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In a statement published on May 17th, he wrote: “Today, social media posts I made in 2012 and 2013 have been highlighted.
"I want to wholeheartedly apologise for the offensive and completely inappropriate language I used and for the sentiments I expressed.
"As a footballer, and in the years spent in work before I became a professional footballer, I've been fortunate to have worked with a wide and diverse range of people. Throughout this period, I have developed and grown as a person.
"Yesterday, I was proud of Jake and all involved at Blackpool FC for what is a hugely positive moment for football as a whole. I am embarrassed by the comments I made as a 17-year-old, nearly a decade ago, which do not in any way reflect the values I hold now or the beliefs I have as a person or as a team-mate.
"Football needs to be a place where everyone can feel free to be true to themselves, and I am upset that the comments I previously made suggest otherwise. I take full responsibility for these posts, and I am sorry."
Daniels immediately jumped to the defence of his Bloomfield Road team-mate, saying: "What you said 10 years ago at 17-years-old doesn’t define the man you are today. I am proud to be your team-mate and to be part of the Blackpool family — we are all moving football forwards together."
Despite others facing punishment for similar incidents in the past — including ex-Burnley striker Andre Gray, who was handed a four-match suspension when found guilty of six aggravated breaches of FA rules in 2016 for posts he made on Twitter four years previous posts — Ekpiteta escaped without a ban or fine and was instead issued with a ‘formal warning as to his future conduct’.