Malky Mackay texts: LMA apologises for 'inappropriate' wording of statement that described texts as 'friendly banter'
League Managers' Association apologies for 'friendly banter' statement
The League Managers' Association (LMA) today apologised for the wording of its statement regarding Malky Mackay, saying some of the wording "was inappropriate and has been perceived to trivialise matters of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature".
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Another grim day for English football
Comment: This is not banter
The statement said: "The LMA apologises for some of its wording, in its release yesterday, which was inappropriate and has been perceived to trivialise matters of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature. That was certainly not our intention.
"It is beyond argument that any comments that are discriminatory, even used in private, are totally unacceptable. The LMA remains absolutely aware of our responsibility to the game and to promote and uphold the highest standards of behaviour.
"The LMA will not be commenting further on the allegations relating to Malky Mackay whilst the FA conducts its investigation, other than to repeat that both the LMA and Malky will be cooperating fully.
"We will continue to work with all of the game’s stakeholders to address the important issues of respect and discriminatory behaviour in all its forms."
Cardiff have now called for LMA chief executive Richard Bevan to resign. The Welsh club described the LMA's criticism of the timing of the release of the dossier regarding Mackay and former head of recruitment Iain Moody to the FA as "preposterous". Iain Moody resigned from his Crystal Palace post following the allegations
They also said the 'friendly banter' defence of Mackay's text messages was "reprehensible".
"A manager's behaviour should demonstrate to players and other employees under his control that discrimination in any form is unacceptable," said a Cardiff statement released through the club's lawyers Mishcon de Reya.
"We therefore find it entirely reprehensible that the LMA should itself put out a statement which seeks to dismiss deeply offensive racist comments as 'friendly banter'.
"If that is the view held by the LMA, as appears from its statement, we consider that Richard Bevan's position is untenable and we call for his resignation."
Text messages linked with Mackay and Moody, revealed in the Daily Mail, contained references to “fkn chinkys”, the “Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers” and “the gay snake”.
Moody resigned as sporting director of Palace yesterday, while Mackay’s agent, Raymond Sparkes, said his client was “stunned” by the allegations and intended to fight them.
The statement was widely criticised for defending homophobic, racist and sexist messages. Anti-racism campaigner Jason Roberts wrote on Twitter: "LMA actually wrote this. They are actually being serious! Somebody drafted that... WOW!"
While Leroy Rosenior, a leading voice for Show Racism the Red Card and a trustee of anti-discrimination body Kick it Out, added: "If the LMA are going back into the dark ages to support people then I might have to withdraw my support."
Ant-racism campaigner Jason Roberts was outspoken in his criticism of the LMA
The earlier statement read:
"The LMA wish to clarify the position in relation to recent reports and speculation regarding matters alleged to have arisen during Malky Mackay's time at Cardiff City FC.
"In the course of a search by the Club in early 2014 of 10,000 private text messages sent to and from another member of staff during Mr Mackay's employment at Cardiff, in relation to other matters, it emerged that Malky had, it seems, sent a couple of one line texts that were, with the benefit of hindsight, very regrettable and disrespectful of other cultures.
"These were two text messages sent in private at a time Malky felt under great pressure and when he was letting off steam to a friend during some friendly text message banter. That said, Malky believes he could and should have conducted himself better on these two isolated occasions. The precise details need to remain private for the time being until any FA process is complete.
"The LMA does not condone in any way any potential breach of equal opportunities laws but would also point out that out of over 10,000 text messages and 70,000 documents produced over a long period of time it may not be a complete surprise that some inappropriate comments can sometimes be made by employees, like Malky, working under great pressure in highly charged situations. If Malky has caused any offence by these two isolated matters he would, however, wish to sincerely apologise.
"Malky finds it strange that these matters were only raised with the FA and in the media now, eight months after his employment ended and the day before he was reported as being offered the opportunity to become manager of Crystal Palace FC.
"Malky is also very concerned about seriously inaccurate and misleading reports of his alleged involvement in these matters in the media. It has never been alleged that he wrote any homophobic or sexist messages and he has confirmed that he did not do so. Further, there are incorrect and damaging suggestions that he sent a whole host of offensive and unpleasant messages that are simply not true and which give a grossly distorted and unfair view of Malky's involvement in this matter. Malky looks forward to matters being put straight in due course, following any investigation of this matter.
"Malky cannot of course comment on the nature of any conduct or communications alleged to have been made by others.
"Malky has said that he will be fully co-operating with any FA investigation and that he looks forward to putting the record straight thereafter."
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