Sport Soccer

Saturday 24 August 2019

Gordon Strachan will not appear on Sky again following Adam Johnson comments

Ad,am Johnson and (inset) Gordon Strachan
Ad,am Johnson and (inset) Gordon Strachan

Former Scotland manager Gordon Strachan will no longer be used by Sky Sports after controversial comments in which he appeared to conflate convicted sex offender Adam Johnson's situation with racial abuse.

Johnson has recently been released after serving three years in prison for engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old fan, and the ex-England winger has not ruled out a return to football.

Strachan said in his role as an occasional contributor on The Debate earlier this week: "If he goes on to the pitch and people start calling him names, have we got to do the same as it is to the racist situation?

"Is it all right to call him names now after doing his three years - have we got to allow that to happen?"

Strachan is not an employee of Sky so is not subject to its disciplinary protocols, but the broadcaster has distanced itself from the Scot's remarks and Press Association Sport understands he will not be used again.

A Sky statement said: "The comments were made by a guest on The Debate. Of course Sky Sports does not support the comments and we're sorry for the offence they have caused."

Strachan then apologised for his comments in a statement that read: "Given the response in the last 24 hours to a point made on The Debate programme on Sky Sports from over a week ago, and having reflected on it personally, it is important for me to address the issues that have arisen.

"In no way did I intended to confuse or conflate the very serious issue of racism targeted at footballers with the potential verbal abuse towards a player who has been convicted of a sexual offence.

"Having reviewed the particular segment in light of the reaction, I fully acknowledge that the imprecise use of language in my initial response has left open a perception that should easily have been avoided. For that I sincerely apologise."

"I would like to take the opportunity to atone for that: to reaffirm my condemnation of the behaviour that led to (Johnson's) conviction, to convey my heartfelt sympathy and support to the survivor, and to apologise for any unintended distress caused."

PA Media

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport