Connor Durman hadn't addressed racist comments because he was 'so scared'

Love Island’s Connor Durman has admitted he hadn’t previously addressed his racist comments because he was ‘so scared’.

In January, Connor was accused of sending racist text messages to an ex-girlfriend before he entered the villa for the ITV2 dating show’s winter series. 

The text messages allegedly showed Connor, who is still believed to be dating islander Sophie Piper, calling his ex Stevie-Leigh Pich a ‘s**g’ and a ‘s**t’ for sleeping with black men, branding it ‘rank’ and ‘grim’. 

After being called out by fellow islander Jordan Waobikeze for posting a black square for Blackout Tuesday but not addressing the racist scandal, he admitted making racist comments, issued an apology, and stated his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Speaking afterwards in a video, Connor said: ‘Hi everyone, I’m just coming on here to talk about the statement I uploaded today on my post.

‘I feel like now’s the perfect time to address what I’ve said in the past, a stupid comment I made when I was in a bad place. I wasn’t thinking straight. Everyone around me, my friends and family know it wasn’t me.

‘I feel like now’s the perfect time to address what I’ve said and I feel like the BLM movement is all about change and educating others and I feel like I’m so lucky to have this platform that I’ve got.

‘Staying silent is the worst thing you can do and I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart but the reason I never came out before and addressed it is because I’ve been scared the whole time. I’ve been so scared about everything.

‘But, with what’s going on now, I had to come out and address it. So I’m sorry to everyone.’

In a statement released to and posted publicly, Connor said: ‘During my time in lockdown and seeing the BLM movement, it has given me time to reflect on my past and comments made during a heated conversation between myself and my ex-girlfriend, before my time in Love Island 2019.

‘Firstly I would like to say I’m extremely sorry for my inappropriate and racist remarks written in the message. I completely failed to think about my words and ended up saying something hurtful and insensitive, when I was in an angry and emotional state of mind, talking privately with someone close to me. 

‘The comments made were not a true reflection of the Connor Durman you all know today.’ 

Connor went on to explain that he now understands ‘there is no excuse’ for reinforcing racist comments and will ‘think very hard’ about his assumptions and ‘phrasing’ going forward.  He also hopes to have an opportunity to ‘show what I have learnt, listened to importantly understood regarding the BLM movement’. 

The TV star continued: ‘The BLM movement has given all of us, especially me a huge insight into racism, although I’ve made regretting comments in the past, I want to make it clear to the people hurt from my comments, including close friends and family, I am not a racist and I do not condemn any racist behaviour physically or verbally. 

‘Being honest with myself, I still have a lot to learn about the BLM movement, culture and history, but I am very grateful that the BLM movement has happened, the movement has my full support and it’s helped educate me personally along with millions globally, which I believe is one of the many changes the BLM movement are protesting for.’ 

He concluded: ‘Finally, I would like to add because of the BLM movement, I plan to use my influence and social platforms positively, expressing in line with the peaceful protests that it is time for a permanent change

It comes after Jordan said in an Instagram live with Capital Xtra host Will Njobvu: ‘I don’t like the way he was silent on the topic the whole time, posted the black square and turned the comments off because he knew people would get onto him, and then went silent again for the couple weeks after like he was laying low, trying to fly under the radar.’ 

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