Reviled journalist Kelvin MacKenzie has laughably attempted to fight back over the ridiculous column he wrote about Everton’s Ross Barkley.
MacKenzie, who is despised on Merseyside for being the editor of the Sun newspaper that greenlit the red top’s infamous “The Truth” headline about the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, was hounded over his opinion piece on the Toffees midfielder after he compared Barkley to a “gorilla” – a remark that many critics and football fans saw as racist due to Barkley’s Nigerian heritage.
Taking to his other column in the Spectator, MacKenzie ludicrously attempted to suggest that he had not researched Barkley’s family history before publishing the piece – even though any good journalist would know to check their facts before writing any article on any topic – and claimed that the former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Trevor Phillips, questioned the amount of negativity MacKenzie’s column had received.
— thurrock lies (@mrplannings) April 22, 2017
MacKenzie wrote: “When Trevor Phillips stood down as chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, he had served nine years. His period remains the longest of any UK equality commissioner.
“So when the confected outrage started over my Sun column about Everton footballer Ross Barkley I was not surprised to see a text pop up from Mr Phillips. I feared he would join the Liverpool bandwagon claiming I was a racist because I had compared the look in the eyes of Barkley with a gorilla.
“Actually I and every football fan I had ever met believed Barkley to be white. Unluckily for me, but luckily for my enemies in the north-west, that was not entirely true. It emerged that although Barkley looked white, his grandfather was half-Nigerian.
Kelvin MacKenzie claims today that The Sun’s sports ed knew nothing of Ross Barkley’s Nigerian heritage. This must be from a different Sun. https://t.co/kNBm68RpMw
— James O’Brien (@mrjamesob) April 27, 2017
“The reality is that had I known of his family tree I would never have made the comparison, but since I am a columnist and not a researcher on Who Do You Think You Are? I didn’t know, and have yet to meet anybody who did. Including the Sun sports editor.
“So, with hesitation, I read the text from Trevor Phillips expecting it to follow the line of such luminaries as Stan Collymore — presumably from a dogging site in Staffordshire — and Virtue Signaller of the Year, Gary Lineker. But no. This is what he said: ‘WTF? I have to confess I had no idea Barkley was a brother. Sad to see a great city wallowing in victim status. Unbelievable.’”
Not knowing when to stop digging himself into a further hole, MacKenzie went on to add that he had the backing of “a number of MPs” over his alleged joke before saying many readers of the Sun backed his stance.
He added: “Andrew Mitchell, the ex-secretary of state for international development, texting: ‘On behalf of all gorillas I’d like to make a complaint.’ The Sun did not see the joke and suspended my column.
“The readers didn’t agree and opinion was running 100-1 in my favour, with some threatening a boycott if I didn’t return. Boycott? That would never work, would it?”
If only every news outlet in the land would ban you forever, Mr MacKenzie, we wouldn’t be subjected to your bile anymore…