UK

The Sun's Kelvin MacKenzie Suspended By News UK Over 'Racist' Ross Barkley Article

'Wrong and unfunny'.

14/04/2017 19:36 BST | Updated 15/04/2017 12:39 BST
Paul Hackett / Reuters
Kelvin MacKenzie.

UPDATE: Everton bans The Sun journalists over Kelvin MacKenzie column.

Kelvin MacKenzie has been suspended for expressing “wrong” and “unfunny” views about people of Liverpool, News UK has said.

The Sun columnist has been under fire, again, for writing another derogatory column about Liverpool - the day before the 28th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

Everton footballer, Ross Barkley, who was recently involved in a nightclub altercation, was MacKenzie’s main target whom he described as a “gorilla”.

England midfielder Barkley, 23, has a Nigerian grandfather.

The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, reported MacKenzie to the police for what he sees as a “racial slur”.

Merseyside Police are investigating the allegation.

 
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA via Getty Images
Ross Barkley's grandfather was born in Nigeria.

MacKenzie has said he did not know of footballer Ross Barkley’s family background and added that it was “beyond parody” for critics to describe his article as “racist”, reports the Press Association.

The Statement from News UK reads:

The Sun’s columnist Kelvin MacKenzie has been suspended from the paper with immediate effect.

The views expressed by Kelvin Mackenzie about the people of Liverpool were wrong, unfunny and are not the view of the paper.

The Sun apologises for the offence caused.


The paper was unaware of Ross Barkley’s heritage and there was never any slur intended.

Mr Mackenzie is currently on holiday and the matter will be fully investigated on his return.

Mackenzie wrote in the offending column:

PERHAPS unfairly, I have always judged Ross Barkley as one of our dimmest footballers. There is something about the lack of reflection in his eyes which makes me certain not only are the lights not on, there is definitely nobody at home.

I get a similar feeling when seeing a gorilla at the zoo. The physique is magnificent but it’s the eyes that tell the story.

So it came as no surprise to me that the Everton star copped a nasty right-hander in a nightclub for allegedly eyeing up an attractive young lady who, as they say, was “spoken for”.

The reality is that at £60,000 a week and being both thick and single, he is an attractive catch in the Liverpool area, where the only men with similar pay packets are drug dealers and therefore not at nightclubs, as they are often guests of Her Majesty.

MacKenzie drew widespread condemnation for the column.

 

Channel 4 News’ Fatima Manji who was the target of another of Mackenzie’s columns last year had a very simple message upon hearing the news.