I’ve read some absolute tosh in my time (to be fair I’ve written a fair amount as well), but this from Martin Jacques in the Guardian takes the biscuit. The BBC is guilty of cultural apartheid? Erm, no Martin, Wrighty has just “quit” a job that doesn’t exist anymore for another job, and decided to have a pop.
Wright was always made to look and feel as if he was the odd one out, never taken too seriously, his judgments discounted, his views made fun of, his relationship with his step-son Shaun Wright-Phillips the object of regular hilarity. It was demeaning; you could see Wright squirming, unsure of how to deal with it. As a viewer I found it embarrassing and distasteful. It was a grown man’s version of picking on someone in the school playground.
I try and keep this blog as “family friendly” as I can, but I’m struggling not to swear here. Right. I like Ian Wright, I do. But as a pundit he was absolutely bloody useless.
He marketed himself as the “jester”, and when presenting England games usually came across to me as being unprofessional at best, and xenophobic at worst. He can hardly turn around now and say “why won’t you take me seriously?”. It’s the footballing equivalent of Abi Titmuss deciding to run for parliament and then complaining that the papers just wanted to write about her boobs.
If he looked as though he was “squirming” and “unsure how to deal with it”, it was probably because he didn’t know what he was doing.
If I could be so bold, the reason his relationship with Shaun Wright-Phillips was the object of regular hilarity is probably down to his inability to have any sort of focus of impartiality. He was like the stereotypical Dad stood on the sidelines on a Sunday morning, saying over and over again “my boy’s better than him, my boy’s better than him”.
Wright didn’t make these points. How could he? It would have appeared like sour grapes. And contrary to what most whites think, it is demeaning for blacks to admit that they are the victims of racism, that they are regarded as inferior because of the colour of their skin. Wright explained it in terms of dress and style. In his case, we might take these as shorthand for colour.
Oh dear. More patronising drivel. Is it possible that he didn’t mention race as it has nothing to do with it?
As far as I’m aware what he was saying was that the BBC are out of touch, which they are. That’s the debate that needs to be had here. Why aren’t there more black pundits in high-profile jobs? I don’t know, but if I was to hazard a guess it would probably be because proportionally there are a lot more retired white footballers than there are black ones.
But still, it got your readership up for a few days so well played.