Ex-editor MacKenzie compares Everton’s Barkley to a gorilla
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson durged Everton to stand in solidarity with their Merseyside rivals and ban the Sun from Goodison Park after a derogatory article about Ross Barkley was published yesterday, a day before the 28th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.
Liverpool banned the paper in February from attending matches at Anfield as well as news conferences at their Melwood training ground for the paper’s disgusting coverage of the disaster in which 96 fans tragically lost their lives.
Anderson said it was a “slap in the face” that the Sun was still allowed at games after Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie wrote a disgusting article about the midfielder, in which was was compared to a gorilla.
Anderson tweeted: “Everton, your lack of action in banning the S*n from your press conferences is a smack in the face to our city. See below [the article] and act now #JFT96,” referring to the Hillsborough campaign.
Barkley’s grandfather was born in Nigeria and Merseyside Police are now investigating whether the article is a hate crime after Anderson reported it as a “racial slur.”
MacKenzie’s article said: “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 article was accompanied online by a picture of Barkley next to a gorilla with the caption: “Could Everton’s Ross Barkley represent the missing link between man and beast?” The picture was later removed.
Anderson said: “Not only is it racist in a sense that he is of mixed-race descent, equally it’s a racial stereotype of Liverpool. It is racist and prehistoric.”
MacKenzie was editor of the Sun in 1989 when the paper accused Liverpool fans of picking the pockets of the dead and urinating on police.
An inquiry last year found those claims to be completely false and that the 96 people who died had been unlawfully killed.
A Sun spokesperson said: “Columnists are supposed to have strong opinions that provoke debate among the readers. However their views do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper.”