Wigan Athletic have appointed former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay as its new manager, an appointing which would deb unremarkable if it wasn’t for a small bit of trouble Mackay found himself in three months ago. That’s when a series of racist, sexist, and homophobic text messages between Mackay and then Crystal Palace’s director of football Iain Moody were revealed.
Mackay, at the time, was on the verge of being named as the new manager of Crystal Palace. Unsurprisingly, that appointment never materialized.
In August, The Daily Mail revealed a sampling of those texts:
On the arrival of South Korean international Kim Bo-Kyung: “Fkn chinkys. Fk it. There’s enough dogs in Cardiff for us all to go around.”
On agent Phil Smith: “Go on, fat Phil. Nothing like a Jew that sees money slipping through his fingers.”
On an official of another club: “He’s a snake, a gay snake. Not to be trusted”
On a list of potential signings: “Not many white faces amongst that lot but worth considering.”
On a player’s female agent: “I hope she’s looking after your needs. I bet you’d love a bounce on her falsies.”
A message sent to team staff: “A picture entitled Black Monopoly (where every square was a “Go to Jail” square)”
Just banter, right?
Fast forward to yesterday, when Wigan unveiled Mackay as its new manager in a joint press conference with chairman Dave Whelan. The two men addressed the media and …
*Airhorn! Flashing lights! Disco ball descends!*
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen! It’s time to take a deep breath and get ready to play [crowd screams in unison] “Guess. The. Apology!” — a game where you guess some of the themes and exact phrases that will be uttered during the course of an apology.
The major detail you need to know is that both Whelan and Mackay address the media. Factor that in. Otherwise, think of a few lines and then read select quotes below from the press conference.
Are you ready? Are your guesses locked in?
It’s time to play!
Dave Whelan, Wigan chairman
“I have investigated every single aspect I can, I think Malky has been so unlucky. He has done a little bit wrong and has apologized for it.”
“When I met Malky, it’s football, you ask the same questions, you get certain answers. But he came and he was so honest and up front with every question I asked him. And I did ask him questions about the problems he’s had on the racist thing.”
“Everybody in football knows I am totally and utterly against racism of any description, I have friends all over the world and I have a very good approach to football. For me, football is everything in the world.”
“Malky was absolutely up front (about the texts). He told me the absolute truth, I totally and utterly believed what he said. The first thing he did was to say I did this wrong. We have all done things wrong in our lives. It’s not like we are all saints.”
“He impressed me immediately because he was so open about it. He apologized for anything he did he knows was wrong. What he did was absolutely private and it was put out in public. He was so honest about it. I took it all on board, accepted it and he deserves another chance to do what he does so well.”
Malky Mackay, new Wigan manager
“I would ask people to judge me when they see me. I’ve apologized for my mistakes I’ve studied diversity and that’s something that’s ongoing.”
“It has been a difficult period and I have made mistakes. I hope that in my time at Wigan, the people of Wigan and the supporters see who I am and see that I’m someone that desperately wants the club to do well.”
“I have been in football for 18 years, I have never had an issue with one of them (players). My door is open, I am close to the players day to day and every one of them will be able to come and chat with me. I have a close knit group period in terms of my last five years track record.”
“I made mistakes and I am absolutely not racist. I am taking on an educational program and that is ongoing. I have apologized for the mistakes.”
How did you do? I nailed the “I have friends” line, but didn’t think that it would come from Whelan. I certainly didn’t see Mackay’s “I’ve studied diversity” coming. Looks like that all expenses paid trip to Omaha will have to wait for the next episode of “Guess the Apology.”
Someone play us out with game show music and roll the credits.