Big Ron's Lesson in Beating Bigotry; Soccer Pundit Who Abused Black Player Attends Race Awareness Class

Daily Mail (London), November 8, 2004 | Go to article overview

Big Ron's Lesson in Beating Bigotry; Soccer Pundit Who Abused Black Player Attends Race Awareness Class


Byline: ANDREW LEVY

RON Atkinson has been attending classes in race awareness as he tries to revive his career as a TV pundit.

The former Premiership manager, who resigned from ITV earlier this year after making an offensive remark about a black footballer, also visited America's Deep South as part of his rehabilitation.

His experiences will be shown in a BBC documentary later this month.

Atkinson, 65, lost his [pounds sterling]200,000a-year job after his comments following Chelsea's 3-1 Champions League defeat to Monaco in April.

Believing his microphone was switched off, he launched into a tirade against the performance of the London team and in particular that of the Frenchman-Marcel Desailly, whom he described as a 'f****** lazy, thick n*****'.

The remark was not heard in the UK but was transmitted in the Middle East.

In the furore that followed, Atkinson also lost his newspaper column and a number of commercial endorsements.

It was an inglorious departure-from the game, not least because, as a manager, he was instrumental in helping Britain's first wave of black players rise to prominence.

The documentary - provisionally titled Big Ron: Am I A Racist? - also features black ex-England footballers John Barnes and Carlton Palmer and black political commentator Darcus Howe. …

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