BBC sacks radio pundit for racist on-air remarks

Table of Contents
Max Lowe of Derby County looks on during a pre-season friendly match between Derby County and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Pride Park on July 28, 2018 in Derby, England
Photo: Alex Livesey/GETTY IMAGES

Radio pundit Craig Ramage has been axed by the BBC following his racist stereotype-filled rant aimed at some of Derby County's young players.

The Rams drew 1-1 with Huddersfield Town at Pride Park on Saturday, but Ramage sparked a racism storm following his comments directed at a cluster of Derby's players.

Speaking on BBC Radio Derby's Sportscene Podcast, the 49-year-old said:

When I look at certain players, their body language, their stance, the way they act, you just feel, hold on a minute, he needs pulling down a peg or two.

So I'd probably say that about all the young black lads, all the young advice if they wanted it, that, you know, it's about, when you are struggling for form, you are going through a sticky patch, it's about going back to basics, working hard, and doing the right things.

The BBC quickly launched an investigation on Sunday before announcing it had sacked the retired player.

These were entirely unacceptable comments and we will no longer be working with Craig.

Derby have condemned alleged discriminatory remarks made by the ex-Rams midfielder-turned-broadcaster.

Derby County Football Club is aware of comments made by a BBC employee after yesterday's game against Huddersfield Town, directed specifically at a section of our young players.

We have been in contact with the BBC throughout the day and underline that we do not in any way condone any form of discrimination.

We take comments like these extremely seriously, we do not tolerate them, and stand shoulder to shoulder, together as one with all our players.

Ramage, who spent six years at Derby from 1988 to 1994, has since tweeted twice to apologise for his comments.

I wish to apologise unreservedly for a comment that I made after yesterday's game. What I said was wholly inappropriate and unintentional. Race is irrelevant to the issues that I was discussing and I deeply regret what I said. I sincerely hope that the players accept my apology.

I would like to reiterate my heartfelt apology not only to the players but also the fans that have listened to me over the past 7 years and also to those that followed me throughout my career. I would like to reinforce that this error in no way reflects my personal views.

Max Lowe, who is one of the Rams' young stars and a target of Ramage's comments, was left incensed and posted a lengthy message on Instagram highlighting the issue.

As a young black footballer making my way in the game, I was shocked by comments made by one of the analysts on BBC Radio Derby's Sportscene programme.

With the support from people I have around me - and after reading today that Raheem Sterling is to spearhead an anti-racism and anti-discrimination taskforce on behalf of players from all backgrounds - I have decided to speak out on behalf of black footballers at Derby County.

Racial ignorance, stereotyping and intolerance negatively affects the image of impressionable young footballers and creates an unnecessary divide in society.

I am also disappointed that a public service broadcaster did not step in to ask the analyst to explain his reasoning, or to distance themselves from these archaic thoughts.

This was broadcast at the same time BBC Derby is promoting a 27-minute feature with former Rams defender Charlie Palmer about the difficulties he faced a as a young black footballer in the 1980s.

As a professional footballer at an ambitious, high-profile Championship club I know that my performances will be scrutinised and I have no problem with that whatsoever - but I do not think it is acceptable for myself and my team-mate Jayden Bogle to be judged by the colour of our skin.

Thank you for taking your time reading this – in a world where you can be anything, be kind.

Don't forget to join us on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Instagram