English League One side Barnsley has been forced to end its association with front-of-shirt sponsor HEX.com due to grossly offensive social media posts.
The cryptocurrency sponsor – which created the first Blockchain Certificate of Deposit – was only announced last week but the club has been forced to end the deal abruptly.
An investigation into discriminatory and abusive social media posts found highly offensive messages believed to be written by individuals who helped broker the deal.
One Twitter account, @KuqiCouture, posted tweets such as ‘F*** those fake Sandy Hook kids’ and ‘Telling the world to stay indoors is easier than telling a thirsty gay not to stick it in a diseased rectum’.
The same user also wrote: ‘How can #Monkeypox be a public health emergency?! The public at large are safe. The virus will only spread amongst a set group of people and the kids they molest.’
Twitter account @yashdeep369, said: ‘Shut up. You’re gay and stop taking twitter seriously’.
Both accounts were tagged by HEX’s Brent Morrissey as people who ‘helped make the deal possible’ with Barnsley.
Meanwhile, HEX creator Richard Heart tweeted in 2017: ‘What are the public voting results of gay rights in Saudi Arabia? Execution by throwing from high place, I think?’
League One strugglers Barnsley were quick to react, releasing the following statement: “Barnsley Football Club value our fans and our core beliefs above everything else.
“Following recent events and a subsequent investigation, the club has assessed its relationship with its front of shirt sponsor and has taken steps to end that relationship with immediate effect.
“The HEX.com logo will not appear on the team’s kits going forward. Further comment will be issued in due course.”
Morrissey took to social media to say: ‘It has come to my attention that a number of tweets of homophobic nature made by two members of the HEX community have surfaced.
“Whilst I do not condone any form of homophobia, it is important to recognise that the tweets were made by two people not associated with the HEX and Barnsley F.C. sponsorship deal in any official or legal capacity.
“HEX and Barnsley F.C. both have passionate communities and we have seen great synergy between both sets of fans. The HEX community & fan base as a whole are very passionate about this sponsorship and want to support the club commercially through merchandise sales and growing the fan base globally to help the club return to former glory.
“I would like to build bridges and create a partnership that does good for the club and fans but also for the people of Barnsley. We are open to suggestions as to how to work in harmony.
“Charitable donations in the thousands of pounds have already been made to the Barnsley food bank by members of the HEX community in the past few days and continue to be made in a show of solidarity between the communities.
“I would also like to say that the sponsorship deal has been paid upfront & in full. I hope to continue working with Barnsley F.C. and help make this season one to remember positively. Come on, you Reds.”
It has been a tricky week for crypto and football with Arsenal also being reprimanded by The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for promoting crypto assets.
While English Championship side Norwich recently revealed it will no longer entertain front-of-shirt sponsorship offers from gambling operators.
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