Stephanie Rice, of Queensland, Brisbane Australia currently holds the world record in the 400 m individual medley, and won three gold medals at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. What she no longer holds is a lucrative Jaguar sponsorship because of using a gay slur/on Twitter about the Wallabies’ victory over South Africa. (Aussie Football) After the Wallabies’ last-gasp win over South Africa on Saturday night, Rice tweeted: ‘Suck on that faggots!’
The comment attracted criticism from gay actor and former Australian rugby league star Ian Roberts, who labelled Rice a “complete idiot
Jaguar Australia general manager Kevin Goult late yesterday confirmed Rice, who has been employed as a brand ambassador since the start of the year, had been axed. It is a huge blow for Rice, who also has commercial agreements with Davenport, SunRice and Channel 7. Davenport, Rice’s most endangered contract because of the brand’s popularity with the gay community, said it did not “in any way” condone Rice’s comment. It would not comment further
Brand expert Dr Stephen Downes said the controversy could make Rice too risky for the underwear maker.
“The fact she would tweet something like that that is suggestive of someone that acts before they think,” Dr Downes said. “No matter how excited she was, it’s a very poor choice of words.”
Aussie cutie Matt Mitcham, a fellow Beijing Olympic gold medallist who has trained with Rice, said he believed the glamour girl’s comment was made in haste.
“I don’t condone what she said, but I don’t think she is a homophobic person at all,” Mitcham said. “I don’t think she meant anything by it.”
Rice last night said she accepted Jaguar’s decision. “I have made a mistake and I am very sorry for my actions,” she said.