Monday 25 September 2017

Sky Sports drop Eric Bristow from darts coverage after outrageous Twitter rant about football abuse victims

Five-time world darts champion Eric Bristow. Photo: Getty Images
Five-time world darts champion Eric Bristow. Photo: Getty Images
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Eric Bristow has been dropped as a pundit by Sky Sports following his comments about football's abuse scandal.

The former darts world champion has been heavily criticised after calling footballers "wimps" on Twitter, adding: "Glad I am a dart player proper men."

Bristow was employed on a freelance basis by Sky as a pundit and occasional commentator.

A Sky Sports spokesman said: "He was a contributor to our darts coverage in the past but we will not be using him in the future."

So far more than 20 former footballers have come forward alleging they were victims of child abuse as junior players, Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has said. Numerous police forces are also investigating the allegations.

Steve Walters, one of the ex-players to have spoken out about his abuse at the hands of convicted paedophile and former Crewe coach Barry Bennell, responded to Bristow, saying on Twitter: "Disgusted with Eric Bristows remarks tonight #stoneagementality."

Bristow wrote: "Might be a looney but if some football coach was touching me when i was a kid as i got older i would have went back and sorted that poof out."

He added: "Dart players tough guys footballers wimps"

Another Tweet said "bet the rugby boys are ok" - prompting a reply from Brian Moore, the former England hooker who himself was abused as a child.

"I'm not even going to address the many reasons these tweets are wrong. I'll just say ignorance is no excuse for this idiocy," Moore wrote.

Bristow - awarded an MBE in 1989 - received widespread condemnation for his comments, but continued, adding: "Trouble is nowadays you cant tell the truth.

"Everybody that works on tv is frightened to say the truth because they are frightened to lose their job. Life shouldnt be like that.

"U people replying don't twist what i sent out, i tell the truth if u dont like it tough."

Bristow, 59, has since deleted many of the comments, in which the only hint of an apology came with a message that read: "Sorry meant paedo not poof."

Newcastle United announced on Tuesday that Bristow has been dropped from an event at St James' Park next week.

Bristow was due to appear alongside Bobby George, Steve Beaton and Keith Deller at An Evening with Darts Legends on December 6 but has been replaced by Kevin Painter.

A Newcastle statement read: "In light of tweets made by the darts player Eric Bristow, Newcastle United has taken the decision today to withdraw him immediately from a scheduled appearance at an event taking place at St. James' Park on December 6. The club will not work with Eric Bristow in the future."

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