Well. This didn’t take long.
Yesterday, Wigan Athletic held a press conference to introduce their new manager, Malky Mackay, to the media and the world. Considering Mackay’s recent forays into racist, sexist, and homophobic text messaging, that press conference went as you would expect. You can read some of the highlights, here.
Seated beside Mackay at that press conference was the hilariously oblivious man who hired him, Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, a man who utters words that would make you think that he’s just the kind of guy to offer Mackay a second chance. He the type of guy who gives you that textbook “but I have black friends” vibe while he plays with your hair without asking and, as a sidebar, asks if you know anyone who speaks Asian, because he has some dry cleaning to do. Today, as reported by The Guardian, Whelan, once again, confirmed our suspicions.
“Jewish people chase money more than everybody else.”
He said this to a newspaper. And not just any newspaper. He said it to The Guardian. If that’s not a sign of a human being unfit to make executive decisions, I don’t know what is.
But context matters, so let’s look at the entire quote from The Guardian:
“Whelan said he does not believe the reference to [Phil] Smith is offensive, first explaining that he believed Mackay was only reflecting that Jewish people “love money” like everybody does: “The Jews don’t like losing money. Nobody likes losing money,” Whelan told the Guardian.
Asked whether he did not think what Mackay said was offensive, because the claim that Jews “love money” has been used as a negative stereotype, Whelan said: “Do you think Jewish people chase money a little bit more than we do? I think they are very shrewd people.” Asked if he himself believed that, Whelan, the multimillionaire former owner of JJB Sports, said yes: “I think Jewish people do chase money more than everybody else. I don’t think that’s offensive at all.”
Jesus. No wonder he thought that Mackay’s texts were only “a little bit wrong.” His interviewer gave him a chance to clarify his comments and he basically said, “One moment, I need to go and find my shovel. I think the colored boy has it.”
Whelan started the Mackay press conference yesterday by saying, “All the fans in Wigan, they all have total trust in me.” Well, here’s a thought, English Donald Sterling: I’m pretty sure that Jewish people, black people, Asian people, gay people, white people, women people, and people people in Wigan don’t have total faith in you. In the meantime, please keep talking, because the world needs to know what you think about Mexicans and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.