British football bigwig accused of anti-Semitism

This video from Britain says about itself:

Discussion about using ‘banter’ to refer to language of prejudice

This Newsnight discussion about prejudice in football with Matthew Syed and Mark Bright (broadcast on BBC Two – Friday 22nd August 2014). It follows reports that Malky Mackay used homophobic, racist, sexist and antisemitic language in texts and the League Managers’ Association described it as banter.

Emily Maitlis: Now to give Malky Mackay credit, his text messages suggest he was indiscriminate in his discrimination – his racist, sexist, homophobic, antisemitic comments suggest he had it in for pretty much everyone. Today came a full scale apology, and a reminder that anyone who had their personal texts scrutinised would probably be in for a bad time. But it was the phrase that followed the texts – a plea to dismiss them as friendly ‘banter’ which some found as most offensive of all.

A new term has been added to the offensive language lexicon – and that word may just be ‘banter.’ It was the phrase used by the Football League Managers’ Association to trivialise the now infamous text stream between the former Cardiff manager, Malky Mackay, and the Sporting Director of Crystal Palace, Iain Moody.

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Wigan’s Dave Whelan accused of antisemitism in new controversy

• ‘Jewish people chase money more than everybody else’
• Wigan owner under new fire after hiring Malky Mackay
• Chinese community leader accuses him of condoning racism
• Shirt sponsor pulls out saying its position is ‘untenable’
• Were Wigan right to appoint Mackay as manager?

David Conn

Thursday 20 November 2014 17.46 GMT

Dave Whelan has been accused of antisemitism after the Wigan Athletic owner told the Guardian he believes “Jewish people chase money more than everybody else”.

A Chinese community leader, Jenny Wong, also said Whelan was condoning racism by saying it is “nothing” to call a Chinese person a “chink”.

The comments came on the day one of Wigan’s shirt sponsors, the kitchen appliances firm Premier Range, announced it was ending its agreement with the club, describing its position as “untenable”.

Whelan was explaining his appointment on Wednesday of Malky Mackay as Wigan’s manager, despite Mackay being under investigation by the Football Association for alleged racism and antisemitism over his email and text exchanges while in charge of Cardiff City with Cardiff’s former head of recruitment Iain Moody.

Premier Range said: “The texts Mr Mackay has admitted to sending are wholly unacceptable – and the thoughts expressed within them are a shocking reminder of a past we thought football had left behind. A team that would employ a man who expresses views such as these is not the kind of team Premier Range wish to deal with.”

The three texts or emails Mackay had sent, Whelan said, included one describing the Cardiff City owner, the Malaysian Vincent Tan, as a “chink”. In another, Mackay referred to the Jewish football agent, Phil Smith, saying: “Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers.”

Whelan said he saw neither as offensive, nor did he consider offensive the other text for which he said Mackay was responsible, which referred to there being “enough dogs in Cardiff for us all to go round”, when Mackay signed the South Korea international Kim Bo-kyung.

Whelan said he does not believe the reference to Smith is offensive, first explaining he believed Mackay was only reflecting that Jewish people “love money” like everybody does. “The Jews don’t like losing money. Nobody likes losing money,” Whelan told the Guardian.

Asked whether he did not think what Mackay said was offensive, because the claim that Jews “love money” has been used as a negative stereotype, Whelan said: “Do you think Jewish people chase money a little bit more than we do? I think they are very shrewd people.” Asked if he himself believed that, Whelan, the multimillionaire former owner of JJB Sports, said: “I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else. I don’t think that’s offensive at all.”

His remarks were condemned by Simon Johnson, a former FA and Premier League executive who is Jewish and is the chief executive at the Jewish Leadership Council. “Unfortunately Mr Mackay and now Mr Whelan have referred to some of the worst old-fashioned tropes which have been used in the past as the basis of antisemitism and stereotyping of Jewish people,” he said. “Mackay used offensive language to insult a fellow participant in football using a tawdry racial stereotype.”

Whelan said: “We’re all against racism in football,” and that it was right that Mackay has attended diversity education courses. However, he said the word “chink” is not offensive, and that he used to say it of Chinese people when he was young. “If any Englishman said he has never called a Chinaman a chink he is lying,” Whelan said. “There is nothing bad about doing that. It is like calling the British Brits, or the Irish paddies.” Wong, director of the Manchester Chinese Centre, an organisation devoted to Chinese community cultural understanding, said chink “is an insult, racist”.

“I remember at school in the 70s a skinhead kicking me, calling me ‘chinky, chinky,’” Wong said. “It has stopped now; things have changed for the better. We have legal protection against racism and that is important; it is not political correctness. As a football manager, this man should not have said it.”

Whelan told the Guardian he has been advised by two “influential” people at the top of the FA that “nothing will come” from the investigation into Mackay, largely because the exchanges were in private communications, which the FA chairman Greg Dyke has previously said are beyond the organisation’s disciplinary processes. The FA said: “No assurances have been given as to the outcome of this case.”

The main representative body of British Jews called Wigan chairman Dave Whelan’s comments “outrageous” yesterday and labelled his apology as “half-hearted”: here.

5 thoughts on “British football bigwig accused of anti-Semitism

  1. CRIME: The former chief executive of JJB Sports was convicted yesterday of accepting more than £1 million in backhanders from suppliers.

    Christopher Ronnie, 52, showed no emotion in the dock as he was found guilty of fraud over three payments made when he was in charge in 2007 and 2008.

    The businessman was convicted of three counts of fraud and two of furnishing false information after a trial lasting eight weeks.


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