Everton on Saturday announced that it has banned The Sun journalists from its stadium and training ground in the wake of a column about player Ross Barkley.
In a statement released on Twitter the club said:
MacKenzie’s column in which he called Everton footballer Ross Barkley a “gorilla” came the day before the 28th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
The Sun has been widely condemned for its coverage of the tragedy that resulted in the deaths of 96 people in April 1989.
The Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, reported MacKenzie to the police for what he sees as a “racial slur” against Barkley’s whose grandfather was born in Nigeria.
Merseyside Police are investigating the allegation.
MacKenzie has said he did not know Barkley’s family background and added that it was “beyond parody” for critics to describe his article as “racist”.
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.