Time To Rehabilitate Ron Atkinson After Stupid Racist Comment

Life sentence for Big Ron

Back in the 80s the bulbheads in the National Front used to write match reports on their rag about the English national team.  Nothing strange in that you may say.  After all they are English.   Indeed.   However, the match reports would contain glaring omissions.

For instance, if England beat someone 2-0 and a black player scored one of the goals they would write the match report as if it was a 1-0 win to England.  There would be no mention of any black player on the English team, least of all if he upped and scored, either on the field or the subs bench.

The authors, heads shaved to the bone, were pursuing a course of racial purity through ethnic editing.

I was reminded of this recently when a person said to me that United only won the European Cup (their win over Bayern Munich) because of white players.  Two dramatic injury time strikes from substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer secured the trophy against the Bundesliga side.

The person concerned, a respectable man, was deadly serious.

What can you say to such endemic racism?

Meantime, Ron Atkinson, is still being cold-shouldered by the mainstream media following his infamous remarks about black Chelsea player Marcel Desailly six years ago.

Big Ron, pursuing a successful career as commentator and newspaper columnist,  forgot that the microphone was still on  following a Champions League game between the Londoners and Monaco and made the following statement about Desailly – which initially went out via the Middle East and then rebounded back.

He’s what is known in some schools as a fucking lazy thick nigger.

Atkinson said after the comment, which led to his resignation:  I made a stupid mistake which I regret. It left me no option but to resign. At the moment I can’t believe I did it. If you look at my track record as a manager, I was one of the first managers in the game to give black players a chance.

He signed black players such as Cyrille Regis, Brendan Batson and Laurie Cunningham when manager of West Brom.  At the time Carlton Palmer defended his former manager despite his appalling comment about Desailly.

I’m black and I’m gonna stand up for Big Ron not because he’s a friend of mine, I’m standing up for him because I know what he’s like as a bloke. If we’re going to deal with racism then let’s deal with the bigger picture of racism not about a throwaway comment that wasn’t meant in that manner

I like Atkinson, especially his wit. When he was manager at Aston Villa he was asked by the BBC why he left his usual vantage point in the stand to come-down to the touchline in the first half.
I came down to pass on some vital tactical information to my side – like the fact that the game began 30 minutes ago, he replied.

He also told some great yarns about former Liverpool boss Bill Shankly, including one when Tommy Doherty, an ex-Man United manager (as is Atkinson), received a call from Shankly when Doherty was managing a lower league side. Shankly was enquiring about his striker.

100,000 wouldn’t buy him, said Doherty.

You’re right, said Shankly, and I’m one of them.

Great stories. He was on the papers again the other day, spinning his yarns and passing on his vast knowledge of the game. The elephant in the room (the Desailly incident) wasn’t mentioned.

As usual he was funny. However, there is a sadness attached to it all these days.  He’s heading into his 70s now and I believe it is grossly unfair that such a fine career should be almost defined by one stupid, albeit terrible remark.

Isn’t it time Atkinson was invited back in from the cold?

9 thoughts on “Time To Rehabilitate Ron Atkinson After Stupid Racist Comment

  1. 100% agree. Unfortunately he said what he said at the peak of the “PC Brigade”‘s power when you couldn’t say boo to a goose without causing someone offence.

    It’s well past time they forgive and forget.

  2. I’d be with you on that one too Seconds.

    Couldn’t tv3 try and use him instead of Trevor Welch or Pat Dolan, or Setanta maybe? I don’t think he’d be doing it for huge money and he’d be a good draw. I prefer hearing him to Lou Mac anyday! People forget how much of a big thing it was for him to sign and play the likes of Laurie Cunningham for West Brom when he managed them. I know you mentioned it in your post but we’re a long way from bananas being thrown at players or monkey noises when they got the ball, thank God. Unless you’re in Spain or somewhere like that.

    As for your endemically rascist friend* did this muppet sing Ooh Ahh Paul McGrath? Not enjoy the wonderful skills of Pele, Garrincha, Jairzhino etc. Did he cheer against Ali whenever he boxed? Did he not gasp in wonder when Serge Blanco got the ball and started off on one of his mazy runs?

    *Please tell me it wasn’t Bock! [joke].

  3. I loved him when he was at Villa. He was a character. It was a stupid statement but he should definitely come back. Remember when he took his first game as Forest manager and sat in the wrong dugout for the F.A Cup game against Arsenal. When asked about it, he said, “I was sure Forest had Bergkamp on the bench”. The stories of his clashes with Doug Ellis were legendary too.

  4. loved the remark he made in an interview when asked about the performance of the referee, “I never comment on referees and I’m not going to break the habit of a lifetime for that prat.”

  5. I agree. Let’s rehabilitate him. It was just a throwaway remark that we all make. ‘cept I don’t !

  6. Great to see old friend Ian Harris on Guitar keep on rockin Allan (Glasgow)
    Ps do you run any jam sessions if so can you e mail the details.



  7. Couldn’t agree more…we miss his ‘early doors Ronglish’…better than Alan ‘Toughicult’ Shearer and Damian(The Ivorian attack is lacking in definable objectivity) Richardson…honestly…I swear he actually came out with that!

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