LONDON - Former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay said on Friday he was sorry for sending offensive text messages and the League Managers Association apologized for the wording of a statement issued in response to the situation.
Cardiff, however, were not satisfied by the LMA’s reaction, calling for the resignation of the organization’s chief executive Richard Bevan and accusing the body of trying to conceal the messages.
Mackay was ruled out of the running for the vacant Crystal Palace manager’s job on Thursday after the Daily Mail published details of the texts he sent while in charge at Cardiff.
“I sincerely apologize. It was something I did, and there’s no excuse for that,” Mackay said in a television interview.
“It was in a period (when) I was under immense pressure and stress in terms of the relationships that were possibly not going too well at my football club at the time,” .
“I’ve been in a multi-cultural football environment for 20 years. I love British football and I am no racist. I am no sexist. I am no homophobe and I’m not anti-Semitic,” he added.
The text messages under scrutiny were exchanged between Mackay and Cardiff’s then head of recruitment, Iain Moody, according to the Daily Mail which broke the story.
The LMA provoked widespread anger for describing the messages as “friendly banter” in their response on Thursday and issued a new statement on Friday.
“The LMA apologizes for some of its wording, in its release yesterday, which was inappropriate and has been perceived to trivialise matters of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature. That was certainly not our intention,” it said.
“It is beyond argument that any comments that are discriminatory, even used in private, are totally unacceptable. The LMA remains absolutely aware of our responsibility to the game and to promote and uphold the highest standards of behaviour.
“The LMA will not be commenting further on the allegations relating to Malky Mackay while the FA conducts its investigation, other than to repeat that both the LMA and Malky will be cooperating fully.“
Mackay left then-Premier League team Cardiff under a cloud last year following a falling-out with owner Vincent Tan and the club responded quickly to the LMA statement.
“We find it entirely reprehensible that the LMA should itself put out a statement which seeks to dismiss deeply offensive racist comments as ‘friendly banter’,“ the Welsh club, who are now in the Championship (second tier) said.
“If that is the view held by the LMA, as appears from its statement, we consider that Richard Bevan’s position is untenable and we call for his resignation.“
Cardiff said the LMA knew about the messages through their lawyers more than three months ago.
“The LMA were therefore complicit in the attempt to conceal these messages,“ the club said.
“The LMA is the representative voice of managers, and whilst we understand it seeks to act in the best interests of its members, one of its major aims is to ‘encourage honourable practice, conduct and courtesy in all professional activity’.
“Regrettably, we feel that the LMA has done no such thing in its representation of Mr Mackay and Mr Moody.”
The incident involving Mackay and former Cardiff sporting director Iain Moody, who resigned from a similar role at Crystal Palace on Thursday, has stirred up another storm over discrimination in British football.
High-profile cases of racist language involving the likes of Chelsea captain John Terry and former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez have blighted the game and the Mackay incident prompted leading anti-discriminatory organization “Kick It Out” to say the sport was “tainted” by racism and homophobia.
“These revelations are further confirmation of how football is tainted with racism, sexism, homophobia and anti-Semitism, and the culture which continues to exist throughout the game and in wider society as a whole,” it said in a statement.
“The reality is that these views are most dangerously held by those people in positions of power, and the football establishment knows and condones it.”