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22nd Apr 2017

There’s a glaring issue with The Sun’s apology to Ross Barkley

No surprise, really...

Robert Redmond

The Sun newspaper has printed an apology to Ross Barkley over Kelvin MacKenzie’s recent column.

Barkley was attacked in a nightclub in Liverpool earlier this month, and the former editor of the tabloid compared the Everton midfielder to a gorilla.

MacKenzie wrote last week:

“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 Everton midfielder’s grandfather is Nigerian, and Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson reported the article to Merseyside police, calling it a “racial slur.”

MacKenzie, who also insulted the people of Liverpool in the column, has been suspended by the newspaper. He claimed that he did not know of Barkley’s Nigerian roots when he wrote the piece.

On Saturday, the Sun printed an apology to Barkley.

It reads:

“At the time of publication, the paper was unaware of Ross Barkley’s heritage and there was never any slur intended. As soon as his background was drawn to our attention, the article was removed from online.

“We have been contacted by lawyers on behalf of Ross Barkley, who has made a formal complaint about the piece.

“The Sun has apologised for the offence caused by the piece.

“We would like to take this opportunity to apologise personally to Ross Barkley.”

However, there’s one obvious issue with the Sun’s apology.

It states that “the paper was unaware of Ross Barkley’s heritage.”

Yet, as noted by JOE writer hrtbps, the newspaper published a story in 2014 which mentioned Barkley’s heritage, and that he could have declared to play for Nigeria.

Since the column was published, the Sun has been banned by Everton.