Anorak News | Spurs: The Sun Goes Looking For Racism In Andros Townsend’s Space Monkey

Spurs: The Sun Goes Looking For Racism In Andros Townsend’s Space Monkey

by | 17th, October 2013

THAT the Sun has little time for Roy Hodgson is no great shock. He is, after all, guilty of not being the Sun’s columnist and England would-be legend Harry Redknapp. And so it is that one day after Roy’s Rover  have made it into the World Cup Finals by winning their tricky qualifying group, the Sun wades in with an Andros Townsend  RACE ROW:


Before the story, let’s hear from the Spurs winger:

“I don’t know what all this fuss is about. No offence was meant and none was taken! It’s not even news worthy!”

The Sun:

ENGLAND boss Roy Hodgson made a race gaffe — when he used the term “feed the monkey” during his half-time team talk against Poland at Wembley. The line, from a joke, came as he urged team-mates to pass to Andros Townsend. It was heard by all the players and is known to have caused offence. Hodgson apologised last night...

But Hodgson, who has previously branded racism “abhorrent”, insisted he had not intended to say anything inappropriate when making the comment, which he used to encourage defender Chris Smalling to pass the ball to fleet-footed winger Townsend.

The remark is the punchline from a widely-known joke involving a space flight, in which an astronaut admits his only role is to feed two intelligent monkeys who are piloting his ship.

So. It was a joke. But in case you misunderstood and wanted to see what the Sun sees, the paper notes:

The term monkey is often used by racists to insult black people.


Is the Sun saying that Hodgson is a hypocrite? What is the purpose of the story? The Sun goes on:

Three days earlier he [Townsend] scored a stunning 20-yard goal on his international debut against Montenegro. Hodgson included four black players in his starting line-up. Alongside Smalling and Townsend were Manchester United star Danny Welbeck and Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge.

There were also three black substitutes — Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling, Jermain Defoe of Spurs and Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs.

Always good to show how post-racial you are to add up the number of non-whites in the team. That’s progress. But, by the way, enlightened Sun, Andros Townsend is of mixed race, with Jamaican and Cypriot parents. Smalling is also mixed-race.

Interviewed in the run-up to the 2012 European Championships, which were held in Poland and Ukraine, Hodgson was asked about racism. He said: “Racism in any form has to be abhorrent.” He added: “You are talking about something that is abhorrent to anybody, not just in football but in every walk of life.”

But he used the world “monkey“.

So. Is Roy Racist? Is that what the sun is saying? The Sun invites an expert to rule on that:

Gaffer is no racist

By STEVEN HOWARD, Chief Sports Writer

NO ONE should believe for a moment that Roy Hodgson’s “feed the monkeys” joke was anything more than a simple faux-pas.

But the Sun says the players were “upset“. The Sun says monkey is racist.

It’s unfortunate that he was using the story to inspire black players Chris Smalling and Andros Townsend – and missed the racist implications. Hodgson is the most socially aware manager England have ever had. But in this day and age you cannot make a reference to “monkeys” in a mixed- race dressing room.

So. Not racist at all.

Posted: 17th, October 2013 | In: Sports, Spurs Comments (18) | TrackBack | Permalink