Sunday 16 April 2017

Everton Bans The Sun Following Kelvin MacKenzie's Ross Barkley Article

Ross Barkley

Everton have banned The Sun newspaper from both their Goodison Park stadium and training ground.

The decision comes after controversy caused by a Kelvin MacKenzie column in which he compared Everton midfielder Ross Barkley to a gorilla and made remarks about the people of Liverpool.

A statement on the Everton website said it had informed The Sun on Friday that it was banned.

It added: "Whilst we will not dignify any journalist with a response to appalling and indefensible allegations, the newspaper has to know that any attack on this city, either against a much-respected community or individual, is not acceptable."

The Sun had already suspended MacKenzie with immediate effect.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson also reported him to Merseyside Police for "racial slurs" in Friday's column, which was headlined: "Here's why they go ape at Ross."

Alongside was a photograph of a gorilla's eyes below a close-up of the eyes of Barkley, whose grandfather was born in Nigeria.

Speaking after his suspension, MacKenzie told the Press Association: "I had no idea of Ross Barkley's family background and nor did anybody else.

"For the Mayor of Liverpool and a handful of others to describe the article as racist is beyond parody."

Merseyside Police said inquiries were under way to "establish the full circumstances of the incident."

Barkley was punched in a Liverpool bar last weekend in what his lawyer described as an "unprovoked attack."

In his column, MacKenzie wrote: "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.

"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."

Anderson has also complained to the Independent Press Standards Organisation and condemned MacKenzie for his "prehistoric, stereotypical views of our city."

In a statement, News UK said: "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's suspension was announced on the eve of the 28th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans died.

He was editor of The Sun when it published a front-page article headlined "The Truth" in the aftermath of the 1989 disaster at Sheffield Wednesday's football stadium.

The article claimed Liverpool fans were to blame for the tragedy. MacKenzie apologised in 2012.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.