The Football Association is facing criticism after charging Middlesbrough’s Marc Bola with aggravated misconduct for a historical tweet posted when he was 14.
Now 23, Bola is accused of writing an offensive post on the social media platform back in 2012 that ‘referenced sexual orientation’ – allegedly using a homophobic slur.
Middlesbrough’s Marc Bola has been punished for a Twitter post he wrote when he was 14
Nine years later, the former Arsenal academy player is facing a written warning, an educational course or a potential three-game ban.
The move from the FA has been heavily criticised as it punishes an adult man for something he did when he was in Year 9.
It’s not the first time a footballer has been reprimanded for a tweet they posted as a child.
West Ham winger Jarrod Bowen was also charged by the FA for a Twitter post he wrote when he was 15, which contained a racist term.
Bowen apologised for this tweet he posted as a 15-year-old
The Hammers ace, now 24, apologised, was given a warning and was told by the FA to attend an education course.
England cricketer Ollie Robinson is another top sports star to receive a similar punishment.
The bowler’s Test debut was marred by the surfacing of offensive social media posts he wrote between 2012 and 2014, when he was 18 and 20 years old.
His tweets were deemed ‘racist, sexist, disablist, Islamophobic and offensive’ in a hearing and as a result he was fined £3,200, given an eight-match ban and was instructed to work with the Professional Cricketers’ Association for two years to help educate other players about discrimination and the use of social media.