Tuesday 6 December 2016

Video: Sky Sports News criticised for 'prison football' remark during Adam Johnson coverage

Tom Sheen

Published 02/03/2016 | 20:28

Former Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson leaves Bradford Crown Court where he was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child
Former Sunderland and England footballer Adam Johnson leaves Bradford Crown Court where he was found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a child

Sky Sports News have been criticised after making a wholly inappropriate remark during their coverage of the Adam Johnson trial.

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The 24hr rolling news channel appeared to trivialise the guilty verdict by referencing how Johnson's next game could potentially be as a member of a prison football team.

"Adam Johnson's next football appearance could be for a prison team. Martin Brunt, Sky Sports News," was the closing statement to the news report on the channel on Wednesday afternoon.

Former Sunderland midfielder Johnson had been found guilty of one count of sexual activity with a girl aged 15.

Johnson, who had previously admitted grooming the girl and one charge of sexual activity, was also found not guilty on a charge relating to another sexual act.

Judge Jonathan Rose did warn the former England international that he could face a potential prison sentence of five years, but Sky Sports News seemed to have jumped well ahead of themselves with that closing statement.

The comment was met with laughter on social media, a reaction that a news channel with great influence should arguably try and avoid when reporting on a case of this magnitude and nature.

Judge Rose told Johnson that there "is a very high probability" that Johnson will face a "significant" sentence.

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