Joe Marler sounds like a sincerely repentant man.
The England prop faces a World Rugby disciplinary hearing tomorrow over his use of the term ‘gypsy slur’ during a recent Six Nations game against Wales.
Marler directed the insult at Welsh rival Samson Lee, and although the apologised shortly after and was cleared by Six Nations officials, World Rugby have stepped in and look set to issue Marler with a lengthy ban.
Ahead of the hearing, Marler issued a statement on Twitter in which he again apologises for the remarks and says he will accept whatever punishment is handed down, but insists that he is not racist.
Above a series of white flag emojis, Marler writes:
“I’m not a racist. What I said to Samson was out of order and wrong and I am sorry it was said, we shook hands at the end of the game and looked to move on.
“Whatever happens to me tomorrow I will accept. I’m sorry to anyone who was offended, saying it was in the hea of the moment’ isn’t an excuse, but one comment, one mistake, does not make me a racist.
“My wife, kids, family and friends (yes, I do have some friends) know this.
“Thanks to the people who have supported me and have understood that I made a mistake and sorry again to the people I offended.”
— Joe Marler (@JoeMarler) April 4, 2016