Gordon Taylor - PFA racist hypocrite
PFA admit they are 'totally dismayed' and 'embarrassed' chairman Carlisle apologises after American comedian used N-word and joked about Suarez during Bale award night
PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle has admitted he is embarrassed over the 'gross error of judgement' that saw the selection of controversial comedian Reginald D Hunter as the entertainment for the PFA Awards dinner.
And the PFA says it is 'totally dismayed' by the 'unacceptable language' used by Hunter in last night's awards ceremony in London, and have insisted that it was made 'absolutely clear' to the comedian beforehand that he was to avoid discussing racial issues in his set.
Hunter repeatedly used the n-word, including jokes about Luis Suarez, in his set at the awards, which saw Gareth Bale scoop both the Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards.
The incident comes at the end of a season in which the PFA has been at the centre of race storms involving John Terry, Ashley Cole, Anton Ferdinand, Rio Ferdinand and Suarez.
It read: 'The PFA regrets the offence caused by the performance of Reginald D Hunter at last night's awards ceremony in London.
'We share the strong disappointment felt by our diverse membership at the choice of language throughout his appearance.
'We would like to make it clear that we feel any use of such language is wholly inappropriate.'
The PFA also insisted tonight that there was no inkling that the 44-year-old stand-up comic would use such language when they hired him for the event.
'He was booked on the basis of his recent television appearances, however clearly his performance last night was of a very different nature,' the PFA statement continued.
'Whilst we are not generally made aware of the material a comedian intends on doing, it is clear that the language used was unacceptable.
'It was made absolutely clear that swearing or any racist references were to be avoided. Therefore we were totally dismayed that the performance was the exact opposite of our requirement.'
Carlisle had earlier apologised for the booking, saying: 'As the chairman I am embarrassed. I apologise unreservedly and it won’t happen again on my watch.
'All that has gone on in football over the past few years, with everything that we purport to stand for, his set was inappropriate, it really was.
'I am probably going to get hung for it. But I can’t be hypocritical. Everything that I have said and stood for over the past three years, if I sit here and say “It’s in the name of comedy” - rubbish, I am not having that.
It's not the first time...
Carlisle admitted on talkSPORT that talks were already in motion on what to do to rectify the error, with Lord Ouseley, chairman of anti-racism group Kick it Out, demanding the PFA explain why Hunter was selected.
'It sounds to me that the PFA needs to answer questions about how they booked this person and why they booked this person,' Lord Ouseley told the Telegraph.
'I’m surprised there wasn’t a mass walkout. It almost begs the question, "Why does Kick It Out bother?"'
Carlisle revealed he was already in talks with the anti-racism group about an event he said had made him 'so embarassed.'
'I got a call from Kick it Out and they asked what I was going to say and do about this. I said to them if they feel they have an issue or something to say, go out and say it and we will have to deal with it. I feel so strongly about this and so embarrassed that I am putting my position out there and when we have our discussions we will see what comes,' said Carlisle.
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor had dismissed criticism of Hunter's booking, saying: 'No, no, don't be silly. Are you serious? I think there were a few raised eyebrows over the comedian, but that is the sort of thing you can't control. It was unfortunate.
The PFA's official Twitter account also released a sarcastic message over criticism of the act, which Hunter himself then retweeted.
It read: 'We've checked all our social media guidelines & still don't know whether we were allowed to enjoy that set!'
Former Fleet Street editor and media commentator Neil Wallis also Twieeted to defend Hunter's performance, saying: 'Find the fuss about Reginald D Hunter use of the N-word bizarre. Er, he's black & that's his act & and he's done it on TV loads?!'
PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor tried to play down the furore surrounding Hunter's choice of language.
When asked whether it was a mistake to allow Hunter to perform, Taylor replied: 'No, no, don't be silly. Are you serious?
'I think there were a few raised eyebrows over the comedian, but that is the sort of thing you can't control. It was unfortunate. He is a professional comedian.
But Carlisle admitted that the appointment was a mistake, saying the players' union should have done proper research before booking an act.
'I am not going to come out against Gordon. He is going to say what he said,' said Carlisle.
'My personal view is that knowing what we have come through in football it is not a difficulty for us to not to book Reginald D Hunter when his repertoire is out there for all to see.'
The PFA profiled Hunter on their website before his stint at the awards, saying: 'The American born comic will bring his unique style of no nonsense comedy to the event.
'Hunter is well known for his jokes that ring true and attempt to shake viewers suppositions.
'It will be a first appearance for Hunter at the PFA Awards though and no doubt he will have some topical content for PFA members and business partners to enjoy.'
FA chairman David Bernstein, who stripped Terry of the England captaincy after allegations of racial abuse towards Anton Ferdinand, was one of the dignitaries who squirmed his way through Hunter’s extraordinary act.
Amazingly, the comedian opened his act with a joke about Suarez, one of six players named on the official PFA shortlist. The Liverpool striker was banned for eight games after he racially abused Patrice Evra and was an invited guest at the annual dinner at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
Paul Elliott, who had to step down from his role at the FA after a racism row with Richard Rufus, was also among the attendees.
Hunter admitted that his act had not gone down well with guests.
THE PFA SHOULD HAVE KNOWN WHAT WAS COMING...
Unassuming. Provocative. Raw. Fresh. And funny. Don’t forget funny.
Reginald D. Hunter is an American born comic who has been residing in the United Kingdom since the age of 27, when the classically trained theater student did his first stand-up on a dare. That experience derailed his studies at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and Hunter shifted from acting to stand-up.
He makes people uncomfortable, shaking their suppositions and airing plenty of his own dirty laundry. If his television appearances have presented him as a comic of companionable yet risque wit, then Hunter’s stand-up proves him a hard hitting pugilist. His jokes ring true and often hit very close to home. The Times called him 'Comically astute, rewardingly provocative'.
In November 2011, Hunter released his first DVD Live, recorded at two sell-out shows from London’s iconic HMV Hammersmith Apollo earlier that year. He supported that release with a wildly successful tour, playing to sold out audiences throughout the UK, that was extended with an encore tour in early 2012. Live was produced and distributed by Universal.
Hunter has been a consistent presence in British television with regular appearances on Have I Got News For You (BBC), Live at the Apollo (BBC 1), It’s Only A Theory (BBC 4) (Reg did the complete series), 8 Out of 10 Cats (Channel 4) and has appeared on the BBC Radio 4 comedy show The Unbelievable Truth.