Campaign spokesman questions the message that the decision sends about the freedom to be racist in 'private'
I am extremely disappointed with the outcome, because of the message it sends to the wider public is as long as you behave like that behind closed doors, basically that’s OK. Not a problem to use that language as long as it’s not in public which is totally the wrong message.
Leroy Rosenior, SRtRC patron & former professional footballer
Show Racism the Red Card (SRtRC) caught up with Leroy Rosenior to get his views on the Football Association's decision not to bring charges against Malky MacKay & Ian Moody despite evidence of highly offensive conversations between the two.
SRtRC fully supports the views of Leroy Rosenior, who also spoke to the campaign after details of the racist content of emails and text messages between MacKay and Moody were first revealed.
What do you think of the FA’s decision on the Malky Mackay and Iain Moody case?
“Gutted; disappointed that it has taken almost a year to come up with this decision. I understand what they are saying about privacy but the message they sent out is a very dangerous one. What they’re saying is ‘it’s OK to be racist in private’ and if you have a private conversation and it’s legitimately a conversation and they find out by some means then, they will not do anything about it. I think that’s a disappointing message.
“I just feel that the reason that it came out was because the messages were of such a concern. They had that sort of language from people in such positions of authority, that’s why this so called private conversation came out, I believe, in the first place.
“So the message that they are sending out is a very, very dangerous one and that disappoints me. After all this time they have come to a decision where they are taking absolutely no action, which I find incredulous in all honesty, that people can behave like that in public or private and get away with it. So I am extremely disappointed with the outcome, because of the message it sends to the wider public is as long as you behave like that behind closed doors, basically that’s OK. Not a problem to use that language as long as it’s not in public which is totally the wrong message.
“What we’re trying to do is get people to understand what this type of language does and what these sort of conversations do and this was two people in positions of authority at a football club having these views. I think personally it won’t do them any good, I know Malky came out and apologised afterwards.
“I think there is an issue of trust there now with them, if they are capable of having these sort of conversations in private about people who work for them then how can they be in a position of authority if they feel like that about people. You know we live in a society with inequality already and for the FA to come out with that sort of decision, with the reason they’ve given I think it isn’t good enough.”
As you said it’s been almost a year for the FA to make their decision, what would have been a better timeframe to come to a decision?
“Yes almost a year! They say they needed that time, fine. I haven’t got a problem with that, I don’t know the ins and outs of it. They’ve got to make sure, in no uncertain terms, that yes, it was a private conversation, but it was a private conversation that was, totally, totally unacceptable.
“Malky MacKay and Iain Moody need to do some education, they need to learn what was wrong with it and understand that and get out in the community and voice that and make sure that they make people aware that it was the wrong thing to do. Not have it justified because it was a private conversation.
“I just wanted a stronger message coming out from the FA. You know, I’m not aware of the legalities with regards to private conversations and I’m sure most people haven’t looked into that in depth. There needs to be a strong message coming from the FA, to lead by example and say this is totally unacceptable. ‘We take this very seriously’, I’ve seen that but I wanted to see that whether it was private or public, that this conversation between two people about people who worked for them in a place of work, be it a football club or anywhere else, is totally unacceptable. Malky Mackay and Iain Moody need to understand that and need to make sure that it doesn’t happen in future.
“What worries me is that this was one private conversation, this was obviously something, I feel, that was the norm in terms of their conversations. This may have happened for many years, or gone on for a long time and that sort of behaviour needs to change and that was the sort of message I was expecting from the FA at least.
“Their behaviour needs to change and Malky came out and I think he understood that, he needed to change his behaviour and his language if he wants to continue working in the game. Look at all the problems it caused at Wigan, with them and the chairman, misuse of language there and the upset that caused. I expected a strong message coming from the FA to say that this was something that we certainly don’t want to hear happen again.
“In the way that we live now, there aren’t many things that are private. We live in a social media age where anything can be monitored and even if it was in private I don’t expect people to use that sort of language, or to feel justified in using it just because it was between them. It’s a very dangerous message and as you can tell, I’m a little bit upset by it. We all know what was said, we all know that Malky came out and apologised because he understood the gravity of it and then for the FA to come out after eleven, twelve months and to not give a stronger message is disappointing.”
You mentioned education as a key point and we understand from talking to the PFA recently, that Malky Mackay and board members at Wigan took part in some training on the issue following what happened there. Do you think there should have been more publicity about that education element because I think to a wider public, they would not be aware it had happened?
“Exactly and to me Malky was very contrite and needed to be afterwards. He’s done the right thing by taking part in education and that needs to be publicised - this is what he’s doing and this is why he’s doing it. He understands the effect that it has not only on the world, but on himself no, how people view him, as an individual, as a person. It’s affected his career. While he was having that private conversation he wouldn’t have thought anything of it.
“The other thing it says to me is why was it private? Because in some way Malky and Iain in some way in the back of their minds they knew it wasn’t right, they wouldn’t talk like that in public. They knew that it would offend people and for me, I think the vast majority of people do not use offensive language in public or in private. You know, that’s not how they speak, that’s not how they relate to people. There are people that do and cause a massive problem of racism and causing upset and causing a massive problem. So Malky and Iain Moody know when they are having that private conversation they shouldn’t be using that language.
“I am really pleased that Malky went and had that education and people should know about it and how he felt afterwards. We saw how he felt before and how apologetic he was, but it would be good to see how he feels now and does he understand why he’s used that language? He understood that it was something that was perceived to be homophobic and racist, he understood that, but after the education where is he now? Where is he with his thinking, as a human being, as a manager of people, how is he going to go forward?
“I think that’s really important, I’m pleased Malky’s gone on that training, I hope he comes out and does that and says he understands now why it was wrong, he knows it was wrong there’s no doubt about that, but he comes out now and explains why it was wrong and the effect it can have on people and the awful effect it has had on his football career as well. He’s paid a big price for it. Whether it was private or public, it will be something he regrets and wishes he’d never done.”
Do you think it’s almost convenient for the FA that it has taken this long and it’s at this stage of the year that they have announced their decision?
“Well, it’s funny how these things come out in the off season when there’s other things going on. Governments have been known to release bad news when there are other things going on, to make sure that there’s other things in the news that mask the effect.
“It just so happens that the Open championship starts today, you know there’s other things going on in sport, so this won’t be on the back pages for too long
“I think this is more important in the long run in terms of the game and how we treat people, how we relate to people, much more important. So, is it coincidence? I don’t know, but I will say it’s disappointing. It’s a disappointing outcome and it’s been a disappointing time.”