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Newspaper's half-hearted Barkley apology a sham

Claims ignorance of player's heritage despite evidence otherwise

Everton v Burnley - Premier League
Ross Barkley
Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Tabloid rag The S*n has printed an apology to Everton player Ross Barkley for an article by their detestable writer Kelvin McKenzie in which he generally insulted the city of Liverpool and racially abused the forward.

The original piece, published on April 14th, led to the suspension of the journalist whose claim to fame was being the editor at the paper 28 years ago when the Hillsborough disaster happened, when he launched an astonishing hate campaign against the victims of the tragedy.

Here is the full text of the apology -

"On April 14 we published a piece in the Kelvin MacKenzie column about footballer Ross Barkley which made unfavourable comparisons between Mr Barkley and a gorilla.

"At the time of publication, the newspaper was unaware of Mr Barkley's heritage and there was never any slur intended.

"As soon as his background was drawn to our attention, the article was removed from online.

"We have been contacted by lawyers on behalf of Ross Barkley, who has made a formal complaint about the piece.

"The Sun has apologised for the offence caused by the piece.

"We would like to take this opportunity to apologise personally to Ross Barkley."

However, it has not escaped the attention of many that the newspaper's comments belie the fact that back in 2014, The S*n was well-aware of his heritage when it featured Barkley in a feature identifying future England stars.

In his piece MacKenzie had said that looking at Barkley's eyes had given him a "similar feeling when seeing a gorilla at the zoo", adding that his eyes made him "certain not only are the lights not on, there is definitely nobody at home".

There was even a picture of a gorilla published next to Barkley's photograph.

As the BBC pointed out though, the apology made no mention of the further slurs made in the article, such as suggesting that the only people in Liverpool who make as much money as footballers were drug dealers.

In the light of this hollow apology, Everton can feel quite vindicated that it indeed has taken the right step with banning the tabloid.