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"Fucking lazy thick nigger"јвтор: ».Ўамир
TV pundit Ron Atkinson sacked for racist remark
Thursday April 22, 2004
Ron Atkinson, the ITV football pundit, yesterday resigned after racist comments about the Chelsea player Marcel Desailly were broadcast around the world.
The remarks, made when viewers in Britain were watching post-match analysis of the Monaco v Chelsea Champions League semi-final first leg match, were broadcast in several places in the Middle East, including Dubai and Egypt.
Referring to the underwhelming performance of the French defender, Atkinson said: "He's what is known in some schools as a fucking lazy thick nigger." Atkinson's conversation was picked up by microphones that should have been switched off once the broadcast from the stadium had concluded.
Atkinson, 65, had made a successful career as a media commentator, having been manager of a number of clubs, most famously Manchester United, West Bromwich Albion and Atletico Madrid. While at Old Trafford he won two FA Cups.
An ITV spokesman said: "We don't in any way condone the comments in question, which were not broadcast as part of ITV's coverage but were made in an off-air conversation after the game. It was a regrettable lapse by a respected and experienced broadcaster.
"He immediately offered his resignation which we have accepted."
Atkinson also has a weekly column and tactical chalkboard in the Guardian. A spokesman for the Guardian said last night: "We take this matter extremely seriously and will be talking to Ron Atkinson at the earliest opportunity."
Atkinson said last night: "I made a stupid mistake which I regret. It left me no option but to resign. At the moment I can't believe I did it.
"If you look at my track record as a manager, I was one of the first managers in the game to give black players a chance."
Piara Powar, director of football's anti-racism campaign Kick It Out, said: "I think it is always disappointing to hear someone of his stature make the type of comment that he has. Regardless of his record, that sort of terminology is just simply out of bounds."
A spokeswoman for the Commission for Racial Equality said: "Obviously it's disappointing that someone in a position such as his should make those comments, but he has resigned. He has done the right thing."
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