Glasgow and Scotland winger Rory Lamont apologises for Obama Twitter attack

HE is one of Scotland’s best-known sportsmen and a supposed role model to thousands, but rugby star Rory Lamont has had to apologise for branding Barack Obama a “whore” on a social networking site.

The Scotland and Glasgow Warriors rugby player has been reprimanded for taking to his Twitter account to attack the US president.

The winger, who only recently returned to play in Scotland after two years in France, waded into the next race for the White House earlier this month.

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He praised Ron Paul, a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party nomination, saying: “He doesn’t work for Wall Street like that whore Obama.”

Embarrassed Scottish Rugby Union officials yesterday said the 29-year-old’s comments were “completely inappropriate”.

The player went on his Twitter page to say: “If I have ever caused any offence from the language used in my tweets I do apologise.”

In a further tweet to Warriors and Scotland team-mate Alastair Kellock, which he later deleted, Lamont wrote: “I haven’t had any complaints but apparently my tweets are news worthy for that very reason. #Pottymouth #iblamestateeducation”.

Lamont’s Twitter trouble emerged in the wake of several Scottish footballers running into trouble thanks to ill-advised comments on the website or Facebook.

A Cowdenbeath FC player has been arrested over alleged sectarian comments on Twitter during last month’s Old Firm encounter. Several young players were sacked for comments made about Celtic manager Neil Lennon last season.

Despite an official warning to Scotland players last year from media manager Graham Law to remember they are representing their country when they write on social networking sites, Lamont has commented on the likes of Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, saying: “The fuehrer would be very proud of Merkel.”

Some of his more colourful comments about bankers are thought to have put the SRU in an awkward position because of a lucrative sponsorship deal with RBS.

Mr Law had told the players’ briefing: “You have got to understand that your comments, your photos, your videos will be seen and circulated by more than just your friends.”

Yesterday’s lengthy statement about Lamont, issued jointly from the SRU and Glasgow Warriors, said: “Social media provides a platform for our players to engage with fans and act as ambassadors for our team and the sport in general.

“We do make players aware of how best to use social media, such as Twitter, so they can make the most of the service. We have spoken to Rory about the tweets identified and he fully accepts the language used was completely inappropriate and has apologised unreservedly for offence caused.”

Lamont’s Twitter rap triggered a mixed response on the site, with many users springing to his defence.

One supporter, Luke Abraham, said: “It’s a disgrace how Rory is being silenced and not given his right of freedom of speech.”

However, one rugby fan, Gary Torbett, said: “Freedom of speech is a birthright people fought to give you. Use it, but always be mindful of others.”