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Brek Shea apologizes after brandishing guns on Instagram

Jun 25, 2013, 2:07 PM EDT

Screen shot 2013-06-24 at 5.23.21 PM

After Brek Shea posted a photo of himself brandishing two rather large shotguns on Instagram yesterday, the USMNT and Stoke City attacker has issued an apology via Twitter.

Shea, 23, caused outrage on both sides of the pond as an image of himself in Texas holding two guns into the air, was posted on Instagram.

And this isn’t the first-time the US international has posted questionable snaps on the site. Just before the end of the EPL season his Instagram picture of a severed pig’s head also caused an internal investigation after a prank in Stoke City’s locker room went badly wrong.

Simply put, Shea has been slightly distracted off the field which has lead to some poor decisions to say the least.

Below is the Tweet Shea sent out earlier this morning, to try and atone for the photo his posted yesterday that appeared on Deadspin and caused plenty of uproar across the soccer community.

Sadly, this isn’t the first time Shea has had to issue an apology during his relatively short career. While playing for FC Dallas in 2012, Shea petulantly kicked the ball at an official and was handed a three-game ban by MLS.

So what are these outbursts from Shea all about? I’m not vilifying the chap, neither condoning his behavior. I honestly just think he has been frustrated at the lack of first-team opportunities at Stoke City and following injuries and suspensions his career has slowly slipped backwards.

(MORE: Shea apologizes to fans for silly stunt)

Aside from the fact that he clearly needs a social media lesson, Shea’s lack of game time over the past six months is something that should concern US fans and soccer fans in general. Maybe a move away from Stoke, on loan or a permanent basis, is needed to shake Brek out of this current rut. Shea will be working hard to impress new Stoke manager Mark Hughes to try and reignite his EPL career. But stunts like this won’t help his case.

We have to remember that when Klinsmann first took over the US team, Shea burst onto the scene in MLS. Crazy haircuts, painting on the side and stunning goals on a Saturday were, and still are, his forté.

(MORE: Brek Shea in trouble? After crazy Stoke City prank goes wrong)

But take the goals and the tremendous soccer talent away and you see a young player losing his way, with people questioning whether or not he has his priorities straight.

Again, I’m not lambasting Shea. I would love nothing more than to see him return to his marauding best for the US in the Gold Cup and take the EPL by storm this season.

I’ve got my finger crossed he can resist making more social media mistakes and instead, concentrate on soccer for the rest of this summer and beyond.

  1. jaxhotspur11 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    What’s wrong with the photo? Why are people outraged?

  2. thetruth702 - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    they are for hunting. get the hell over it you whiny liberals

  3. lyleoross - Jun 25, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    Actually, pistol grip shotguns are for hunting people, no “real” hunter uses one. Beyond the fact that Shea looks like a dork, and he does, he looks like he’s trying to be macho, and he’s failing badly. If you try and look macho, and you fail, it’s not even humorous, it’s kind of sad.

    Given the amount of violence in the world, most people who watch football are sort of down on a violence laden stance. I understand that in our safe and secure U. S., where we get to export war to the rest of the world, that violence is all fun and games. But many countries where football is “the” sport, and who suffer high levels of violence and war, don’t find it a laughing matter. They see it as insensitive, and they feel that most U.S. citizens are clueless about world violence.

    • geojock - Jun 25, 2013 at 5:36 PM

      Hunting people? You seem to know a lot about guns for someone who hates them so. Did you learn that while playing on your Xbox?

      • lyleoross - Jul 29, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        No, I learned it from hunting. Only people who don’t understand guns, how they’re built, and how they’re used would think otherwise. I was taught that guns are a tool, a dangerous one, that should be used for the job. Standing around trying to look macho with one would have gotten me a swift kick in the backside by my father.

    • drewvt6 - Jun 25, 2013 at 6:00 PM

      wow…what an uppity douchebag. I bet you don’t even call it soccer, only football.

      I’m sorry you are forced to live in such an awful awful country as the United States of America.

      • quen047 - Jun 26, 2013 at 1:17 AM

        The guys is explaining why most countries in the world, including the one from which Shea makes his living, would find this an offensive photo. It would be one thing if he were still playing for Dallas, but he is not. He plays for Stoke City and those weapons are illegal where he earns his paycheck. If he wants to play top-class soccer in Europe then he should try to respect the culture and keep the shotguns off his Instagram feed. That’s why he’s apologizing.

      • lawson1974 - Jun 26, 2013 at 2:50 AM

        Maybe the others shouls respect HIS culture.

        That’s what we’d be told if it was the other way around.

      • joeyt360 - Jun 27, 2013 at 5:42 PM


        Yeah, I’m not a part of “gun culture” and don’t even own one, and I’ve heard the saying “when in Rome, do as the Romans do.” I’ve never heard “when you go back home to Thrace, apologize to the Romans for being Thracian.”

        If you’re in the US or UK, there’s plenty of real life crime you could be outraged about, rather than some silly photo.

      • lyleoross - Jul 29, 2013 at 2:03 PM

        Yes, I do call it football. Soccer is that boring game we used to play under Bob Bradley where you pack it in on defense, and think you’re going to score on a long break away. Football is the world’s most popular sport that is played, well, with your feet.

        If hunting, knowing guns, and knowing how they are used makes me an uppity douchebag, oh well.

        As for the U.S. well, I quite like her, where else can you go online and call people childish names and get away with it? Of course I probably know the country better than some do, but then I took U.S. history and know that the notion that every git who wants to have a gun should is a recent phenomenon sponsored and pushed by the NRA via ALEC only a couple of years ago.

  4. dfstell - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Honestly, I don’t see any problem with the picture. I KNOW that some people just have a knee jerk reaction anytime they see a gun, but really….he’s not doing anything unsafe with them and we don’t have any reason to suspect that he shouldn’t be permitted to have them.

    I also can’t imagine this is him being frustrated at his lack of playing time. To me, it’s just a young guy who seems really wide open making some interesting decisions on social media. It’s more of a “Hey, this will be a cool picture!” and he just kinda does it before he realizes that he’ll have people pouncing on him for “brandishing” guns and whatnot.

    Again….I wish we had more wide open athletes. Most athletes are pretty boring.

  5. mj2sexay - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:38 PM

    I still don’t understand what was so offensive about the picture.

    • khard1250 - Jun 25, 2013 at 3:58 PM

      I’m more offended by the shorts than the guns

      • stmiller02 - Jun 25, 2013 at 5:22 PM

        I was thinking the same thing. Wo cares about the guns, but damn that entire set he’s wearing is offensive! Those shorts, the white trash wife beater shirt, and that dumb looking flat-billed hat. Awful.

  6. player169 - Jun 25, 2013 at 6:30 PM

    This is ridiculous. The fact that people were offended. The fact that he actually apologized. And the fact that you just wrote an article making it sound like he did something wrong. Political correctness, ughh…

  7. helpmecruyff - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    He’s from Texas? Who knew ? The fact that he’s appears to be the dumb ass,red neck gun dude stereotype that Eurolanders imagine most Americans to be worries me much less then the fact that anyone ever thought this guy was a top class player. Actually the picture kind of sums up the kind of player he is. Big, strong and stupid.

  8. bradygazelle - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    Talk about overcompensating…

  9. lunasceiling - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:51 PM

    Apologize? For what? Because some hyper-sensitive ignoramuses got their panties in a wad over seeing someone with – oh, the horror! – nasty old guns? FFS…

    On the other hand, I think we’re all owed an apology for those shorts…

  10. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Jun 25, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Perhaps we should have the “journalists” on this site stop using martial terms when describing sport and games? Instead of demanding Shea’s apology and dropping the issue you should follow his lead.

  11. wfjackson3 - Jun 26, 2013 at 1:34 AM

    One guy apologizes for brandishing firearms and people start complaining about liberals. Then the liberals start complaining about the conservatives.

    No empathy left in this country at all. It makes me sad.

    • lawson1974 - Jun 26, 2013 at 2:47 AM

      I get your point in general.

      But what exactly are we supposed to have “empathy” for in this story?

      • stmiller02 - Jun 26, 2013 at 3:03 AM

        I feel a sense of empathy for his tortured sense of taste. Awful short and shorts.

      • wfjackson3 - Jun 27, 2013 at 7:54 AM

        Each other’s opinions.

  12. midtec2005 - Jun 27, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    He should have told anyone that was offended to get over it, not apologize. There’s nothing offensive here. They are guns, they exist and many people own them….

    Dare I say he is actually being discriminated against for liking guns?

    • wfjackson3 - Jun 28, 2013 at 9:39 AM

      You can say he is being discriminated against, but in order for that to be anything more than an opinion, you would need to provide evidence.

      “Discrimination is the prejudicial and/or distinguishing treatment of an individual based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or category, “in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated.”[1] It involves the group’s initial reaction or interaction, influencing the individual’s actual behavior towards the group or the group leader, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on logical or irrational decision making.[2]”

  13. mvktr2 - Jun 28, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    I tend to agree with others, if Shea were plying his trade TX there is no controversy. I’m a full on believer in the non-aggression principle/golden rule and am increasingly anti-war/anti-violence with each passing day. Yet guns be they a single shot breach loading shotgun or a rotary-barrel mini gun are simply objects incapable of evil or just actions, it’s the character of those possessing them which determines their use. Sports shooting is awesome fun, period and free people are free to spend their time pursuing their own interest no matter what those interest are so long as they don’t harm or threaten harm upon others.

    What makes me sad is the vast majority of of US hive-minded individuals whom actually believe there is a difference between liberals and conservatives, they simply vying for power and the authority to rule over you

    ‘Does it ever enter into what’s left of your brain on the 4th of july when you’re swilling your beer, grilling, and waving the flag just how much less free you are today versus the rebels in the 1700s when the nation was founded?’ – Larken Rose Gone are individual liberty and individual responsibility, can’t have one without the other. My relationship with the people calling themselves government is entirely coercive.

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