Soccer Owner Defends Hiring Racist Coach By Saying Racist Things
Who knew that England had its own Donald Sterling? Meet Dave Whelan, owner and chairman of Wigan Athletic, a Football League Championship (second tier) soccer team.
One part Ebenezer Scrooge, two parts Marge Schott with a dash of Donald Trump, Whelan is chin deep in hot tea after a series of controversies over the past 48 hours. First he hired devoted quote gaffe machine Malky Mackay as his new coach, despite Mackay being investigated by the Football Association for past racist and homophobic tweets.
Then, in defending his choice, Whelan decided to give an interview with The Guardian, in which he calmly explained that Mackay has made some mistakes but should be forgiven, and that Jews chase money, and what about the chinks?
“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.”
“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.”
Whelan said that he doesn't think that anything will come of the Football Association investigation of Mackay, and he's likely correct. But there has been tangible blowback.
Premier Range, an appliance company and one of Wigan's major sponsors (its name is on Wigan jerseys), has withdrawn its sponsorship.
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.”
Other sponsors are also considering pulling out, according to The Guardian.
— Simon Johnson (@sjrbsimon) November 20, 2014
Be the first to know
Want FREE Fantasy and Gaming Advice and Savings Delivered to your Inbox? Sign up for our Newsletter.