Rice makes public apology over gay remarks

The Beijing Olympics star refused to speak about swimming or the recent shoulder surgery which has taken her out of next month’s Commonwealth Games, but broke down as she pleaded for the chance to win back the public’s trust.

“My comments were thoughtless and careless but I can assure you when I made those comments on Twitter I never intended to offend anybody,” she told a specially convened news conference here.

“I’ve learned a lot in the last couple of days. I’ve learned I must think before I speak and this has been a very important lesson.

“I’ve also learned that some things you say can mean more to others than they do to you.”
Rice prompted a storm of controversy when she tweeted “Suck on that faggots!” after Australia’s narrow win over South Africa in the tri-nations rugby on Saturday.

The 22-year-old later deleted the post and apologised on her website but the comment prompted an angry response from gay ex-rugby league player Ian Roberts who called her an idiot, while luxury carmaker Jaguar scrapped sponsorship.

“I owe it to those who I have offended to publicly say, I am sorry. It is not me to give offence to other people,” Rice said.

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