Anorak News | Race Row

Race Row

by | 7th, October 2004

‘HAVING started their build-up to Saturday’s World Cup qualifier between England and Wales so early, the papers are staring to lose momentum this morning.

‘Some of my best friends are shits’

And so they look to Spain for their lead where it comes courtesy of remarks made by national manager Luis Aragones to Jose Antonio Reyes.

In trying to gee up the young Arsenal striker, Aragones referred to Reyes’s Highbury team-mate Thierry Henry as “that black shit” – a remark that was caught on camera and quickly relayed throughout Spain and beyond.

The Sun and Mirror are both outraged on the Frenchman’s behalf, but it is the Spaniard’s defence that we prefer to concentrate on.

“I am a citizen of the world,” the 66-year-old said, before adding the immortal: “Some of my best friends are black, including some that I had from childhood.”

Reyes insisted that the comment was a joke. If it was, then both he and his coach probably need a new sense of humour.

But we do question whether a throwaway remark like that in the context in which it was said really merits the fuss that is being made.

And so to the Times, which prefers instead to focus on the upcoming game and profiles the duel between Manchester United team-mates Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville.

“It is,” the paper says, “as if two friends have been shoved into a boxing ring and asked to knock each other out.”

Meanwhile, John Hartson has issued a warning to his old team-mate Rio Ferdinand.

“Rio knows what to expect,” the muscular Celtic striker says.

And indeed he does – he was there at the West Ham training ground when Hartson decided to use Eyal Berkovic’s head as a football.

If, as suggested in today’s Broadsheets, political endorsements from popstars make precious little difference to the way people vote, then what about sportsmen and women?

We ask because the Times has a list of five sportsmen who have come out in favour of George Bush and five who are supporting John Kerry.

And if you needed another reason to dislike Jack Nicklaus, on top of his voice, his dress sense and the fact that he wasn’t Arnold Palmer, know that the Golden Bear is a Dubya fan.

We look forward to a similar parade of sportsmen and women ahead of next year’s General Election, with both parties fighting hard for the Wayne Rooney vote.

Word is at the moment that the 18-year-old is leaning towards Michael Howard – if only because he prefers them a bit older.’

Posted: 7th, October 2004 | In: Back pages Comment | TrackBack | Permalink