Sport Horse Racing

Friday 22 August 2014

McCririck proves that sometimes 'ageism' is acceptable

James Corrigan

Published 11/01/2013 | 05:00

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John McCririck would habitually refer to one of his colleagues as "The Female".

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So, for this sexist boor to cast himself as a "beacon" to "prevent negative discrimination in the workplace" is rather like King Herod forwarding his own candidature as the figurehead of responsible child-minding.

"Ageism" is McCririck's cry as he comes to terms with the fact that, yes, Channel 4 really is prepared to broadcast horse racing without some hairy clown in a deerstalker telling us that Dancing Dobbin has been backed down to 8/1 while waving his gold-encrusted fingers around like an Octopus calling in an Airbus.

'The Lard of the Ring' has been ordered off his manor. Racing has moved on. And so has John McCririck. And they're off with legal proceedings, seeking damages totalling £3m.

The old boy promises to donate part of any remuneration "to charitable organisations helping to prevent negative prejudice in the workplace".

But what if Channel 4 "fully reinstate" him as well as "apologise" and "meet all the costs" he will have rather bafflingly incurred despite being represented on a no-win, no-fee basis? Yep, this fearless campaigner for his generation will drop the lawsuit and go in front of a camera again.

Channel 4 "vigorously" rejected the suggestion that ageism "played any part in the decision not to renew his freelance contract".

In truth, they should admit: "Hell yeah, it was because of age." There is nothing wrong with ageism if the said individual refuses to move on from an age when it wasn't offensive to keep addressing one's wife as "The Booby", when it was permissible to perpetuate chauvinism at work, when it was humorous to scream at racegoers "you prat" for daring to wave at the camera, when "English eccentricity" was a catch-all for tedious vulgarity.

McCririck invented this persona and for decades lived very comfortably from its controversy. It has long been out of date and he should have long been out the door. It is as simple as that and it is desperation on his part to attempt to pass it off as otherwise is offensive to genuine victims of ageism. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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