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Premier League Text Message Scandal Is Making Everybody Stupid

May you never have to be defended by Harry Redknapp.

Former Cardiff manager Malky Mackay is under fire for a series of racist, sexist, and homophobic text messages exchanged with former co-worker Iain Moody. So here comes QPR's Redknapp, explaining why Mackay's not such a bad fellow:

"I'm not condoning what he has done but show me someone who has ever made a mistake and I will show you a liar. He hasn't murdered anyone, he hasn't raped anyone and he is not a pedophile."


Ah, the classic "at least he's not a rapist" defense. It truly works in almost any situation.


Redknapp's bizarre stance is just the latest in a saga where all sides seem to be trying to one-up each other in poor judgment.

It all started when Mackay, expected to become the manager of Crystal Palace, was removed from consideration. It quickly emerged that his old club, Cardiff City, had sent a report to the FA detailing a series of offensive texts messages exchanged between Mackay and Moody, his head of recruitment. (Moody, since hired by Crystal Palace as sporting director, resigned yesterday.)


Some of those texts, gathered by the Daily Mail, can be seen at left. There is financial and personal bad blood between Cardiff City's owner and the two former employees, but no one disputes the authenticity of these texts.

The next act of stupidity came from the League Managers Association, which yesterday released a tone-deaf statement on behalf of Mackay. It read, in part,

"These were two text messages sent in private at a time Malky felt under great pressure and when he was letting off steam to a friend during some friendly text message banter."


The "it was just banter" defense is a close second to the "at least he's not a rapist" defense. But maybe not so good in the middle of a huge anti-discrimination push in British football. Just yesterday, the Kick It Out campaign revealed that it had received 284 reports of racist, sexist, homophobic, and anti-religious incidents over the 2013-2014 season.

After a large and immediate outcry, the LMA issued another statement this morning, apologizing for its previous statement. This one read, in part,

"The LMA apologizes for some of its wording, in its release yesterday, which was inappropriate and has been perceived to trivialize matters of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature. That was certainly not our intention."


The statement also notes that the LMA will not be commenting further, which is probably wise. Cardiff, which was relegated last season, has already called on LMA head Richard Bevan to resign for his role in releasing that "reprehensible" statement.

This mess is just two days old and has taken more turns than anyone could have imagined, so it's probably one to keep your eye on. Well done, everyone. Frankly, America's a little jealous of your scandal quality.

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