Houston Dynamo midfielder Colin Clark has apologized in a three-post Twitter statement for using a gay slur toward a ball boy during a 2-0 loss at Seattle on Friday night.
Clark, in his third season for the Dynamo and playing his eighth in the MLS, can be seen in a video replay jogging toward the sideline for a throw-in, appearing to signal to the attendant for a ball as the game ball skips out of bounds.
After Clark is issued a new ball at his feet and forced to pick up the ball, he utters a gay slur toward the ball boy before making the throw-in.
"I'd like to offer a sincere apology to everyone who watched the game, especially the ball boy for whom I used awful language towards," a 3 a.m. ET post on Clark's Twitter account says.
"I didn't mean to disrespect anyone and am sorry for letting my emotions get the best of me," Clark wrote in his next post. "It's not who I am and it won't happen again."
According to The Seattle Times, the incident came in the game's seventh minute, 16 minutes before David Estrada scored his MLS-leading fourth goal of the season to give Sounders FC all they would need in their second game of the season.
"@gay4soccer I'm very sorry for my actions tonight and I would love for you to consider me a #soccerally moving forward," Clark wrote in another Twitter post.
Apparent racial slurs have been the subject of recent controversy for at least two players in the English Premier League.
Liverpool's Luis Suarez was banned for eight matches and fined $62,000 for calling Manchester United's Patrice Evra "Negro" or "Negros" seven times in October during a 1-1 draw. Suarez later issued a partial public apology while stressing he had done nothing wrong.
In February, England removed John Terry as its national team captain amid a pending racial abuse case that will be tried after this summer's European Championship.
The Chelsea defender is accused of shouting abusive comments at Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand during an October match.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.