British Soccer Player Sorry for Suicide Bomb Costume
Manchester United soccer player Chris Smalling has apologized for wearing a costume resembling a suicide bomber's explosive vest at a Christman party.
His management issued a statement saying that “he fully accepts in hindsight it was an ill-thought out and insensitive decision,” but “absolutely no harm was intended whatsoever and he apologizes for any offense caused.”
The management said he intended to make an elaborate pun on the popular "Jagerbomb" drink by strapping bottles of Jagermeister and Red Bull to his body.
Smalling's party was a private affair but someone leaked photographs him wearing an army-style vest with alcohol bottles and a mock circuit board and cables attached. The pictures, which appeared in the Sun, also appeared to show him wearing an Arab keffiyeh headdress.
Jacqui Putnam, who survived the Edgware Road blast in 2005, told the Guardian that people should "think twice" before making light of terrorism.
“It does not make it any easier when you see people who make light of it," she said. "It is silliness really. I do not think people who do these things mean any harm but unfortunately the effect it has on people like me and people who are in a worse position – those who lost loved ones – is hurtful.
"I am sure that he did not mean to offend anyone but I wish people would think twice. If people could only think twice about the pain this could cause to people who have lost loved ones in these circumstances it would be appreciated by survivors and the bereaved alike."
Graham Foulkes, 61, from Oldham, whose son David died in the July 7 London attacks, told the Sun the "jagerbomber" costume was "one of the most offensive things I have seen".
Nicolas Anelka, a French soccer player who plays in Britain, recently caused outrage over a post-match gesture that appeared to be a modified 'Nazi-style' salute. "I am neither anti-Semite nor racist," AFP quoted him as having said, as British soccer authorities mulled possible punishment over the incident.