Moments after Portland Timbers midfielder Will Johnson was called a homophobic slur by San Jose Earthquakes forward Alan Gordon, Johnson responded by scoring the game-winning goal.
The point ended a scoreless deadlock, giving the Timbers a 1-0 victory Sunday night over the Earthquakes.
According to the Huffington Post, Gordon did not speak to reporters after the match, but did release a statement through the team.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to everyone who watched tonight’s match on NBC Sports Network. The language I used came during a heated moment and does not reflect my feelings toward the gay and lesbian community. I made a mistake and I accept full responsibility for my actions,” the statement read.
However, Johnson preferred to allow his game-winning goal speak for him and remained relatively silent on the issue of Gordon’s behavior. “I think it’s probably better that I don’t comment on that,” he said. “It’s a very sensitive matter. I’d prefer the league go through with their protocol.”
Gordon’s use of an antigay slur during a heated moment of Sunday’s game highlights the homophobic environment LGBT athletes currently endure in professional sports—a point made by openly gay soccer player Robbie Rogers, whose interview with ABC News discussing being a gay professional athlete aired on the same night.
Watch Johnson’s game-winning goal and see a clip from the Rogers interview as well in the videos below.