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14th Apr 2017

Kelvin MacKenzie suspended by The Sun following Ross Barkley column

His comments were 'wrong' and 'unfunny'


Kelvin MacKenzie has been suspended by The Sun newspaper after his column expressed views about the people of Liverpool that were ‘wrong’ and ‘unfunny’.

An article published on Friday saw MacKenzie appear to compare Everton’s Ross Barkley, whose grandfather was born in Nigeria, to a gorilla. As well as this, MacKenzie described the 23-year-old as ‘thick’ and ‘one of our dimmest footballers’.

He also suggested that men from Liverpool who earned similar ‘pay packets’ to that of Barkley were drug dealers.

A statement from The Sun has apologised for any offence caused by the column, also adding that they were ‘unaware of Barkley’s heritage’.

The column has since been removed from The Sun’s website and it’s since emerged that Merseyside Police are investigating whether his comments constitute a racial hate crime.

The statement reads:

‘The Sun’s columnist Kelvin MacKenzie has been suspended from the paper with immediate effect. 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.’