Managers’ Association boss urged to quit for calling homophobic texts ‘friendly banter’

PinkNews logo with white background and rainbow corners

The League Managers’ Association’s (LMA) chief executive is facing calls to quit over a statement he put out referring to racist and homophobic texts as “friendly banter.”

The LMA was forced to apologise for a statement which labelled the text messages, allegedly sent by former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay.

Calls have been made for Richard Bevan, the head of the LMA, to step down following the statement.

Cardiff City called the statement “entirely reprehensible”, former footballer Stan Collymore tweeted that the statement was a “disgraceful, institutional acceptance of the ‘banter’ of casual racist”, and Piara Powar, head of Football Against Racism said “The LMA [was] defending the indefensible.”

Mackay and his then head of recruitment Iain Moody, were said to have been involved with a string of offensive text messages.

Moody stepped down as sporting director at Crystal Palace amid the controversy and Mackay has admitted sending the offensive text messages, and has said he thinks it is “completely unacceptable.”

An initial statement from the LMA read: “These were two text messages sent in private at a time Malky felt under great pressure and when he was letting off steam to a friend during some friendly text message banter. That said, Malky believes he could and should have conducted himself better on these two isolated occasions. The precise details need to remain private for the time being until any FA process is complete.”

A new statement, put out yesterday, read; “The LMA apologises 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 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 whilst the FA conducts its investigation, other than to repeat that both the LMA and Malky will be cooperating fully.

“We will continue to work with all of the game’s stakeholders to address the important issues of respect and discriminatory behaviour in all its forms.”