Great Britain

BBC sack Ramage as Derby star Lowe highlights ‘racial stereotyping’ after he said ‘black lads need pulling down a peg’

THE BBC have SACKED pundit Chris Ramage after he criticised "all the young black lads" at the club.

Ramage, a former Rams defender, was speaking on BBC Radio Sportscene after the 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town and said certain players need "pulling down a peg or two."

The 49-year-old said: "When I look at certain players, their body language, their stance, the way they act, you just feel, hold on a minute, he needs pulling down a peg or two.

"So I'd probably say that about all the young black lads, all the young advice if they wanted it, that, you know, it's about, when you are struggling for form, you are going through a sticky patch, it's about going back to basics, working hard, and doing the right things."

However, in a later statement, the BBC confirmed they had sacked the retired player.

"With the support from people I have around me – and after reading today that Raheem Sterling is to spearhead an anti-racism and anti-discrimination task force on behalf of players from all backgrounds – I have decided to speak out on behalf of all black footballers at Derby County.

"Racial ignorance, stereotyping and intolerance negatively affects the image of impressionable young footballers and creates an unnecessary divide in society.

"I am also disappointed that a public service broadcaster did not step in to ask the analyst to explain his reasoning or to distance themselves from these archaic thoughts.

"This was a broadcast at the same time BBC Derby is promoting a 27-minute feature with former Rams defender Charlie Palmer about the difficulties he faced as a young black footballer in the 1980s.

"As a professional footballer at an ambitious, high-profile Championship club I know that my performances will be scrutinised and I have no problem with that whatsoever – but I do not think it is acceptable for myself and my team-mate Jayden Bogle to be judged by the colour of our skin.

"Thank you for taking your time reading this – in a world where you can be anything, be kind."

Kick It Out chief and anti-racism campaigner Troy Townsend led the condemnation, Tweeting: "It's embarrassing that BBC Derby have provided a platform for this type of racial stereotyping. No amount of education will stop this ignorance."

Derby first-team coach Liam Rosenior added: "In reading this quote I HAVE to respond and ask BBC Derby Sport to confirm this quote and I'm happy to challenge this openly. Unacceptable."

The club statement said: "Derby County Football Club is aware of comments made by a BBC employee after yesterday’s game against Huddersfield Town, directed specifically at a section of our young players.

"We have been in contact with the BBC throughout the day and underline that we do not in any way condone any form of discrimination.

Ramage spent six years at Derby from 1988 to 1994 before spells at Wigan Athletic, Watford Peterborough United, Bradford City and Notts County.

He won three England Under-21 caps in the early 1990s and retired in 2001.