Paul Elliott Resigns From His Postition Within The FA After Using Racist Slur
FA judicial panel member PAUL ELLIOTT, who has been in the vanguard of English football’s Kick It Out campaign since '96, "resigned from the ant-racism organisation" and the FA Saturday "after a row erupted because he called another black man 'n*****,'" according to Peter Boyle of the SUNDAY TIMES. The 48-year-old Elliott, who played for Chelsea, Aston Villa and Celtic, "used the term in a text tirade" against former Charlton player RICHARD RUFUS. Referring to a business venture that went wrong, he told Rufus: "Ur a stupid man n*****." He added, "You dog. Ur history my friend." Elliott, who became the first black player to be made a CBE in the '12 birthday honors list for his services to equality and diversity in football, having been made an MBE in '03, rounded off his message with the warning: "This will follow you scumbag." The row is an embarrassment for the FA and Chair DAVID BERNSTEIN, who recently praised Elliott, remarking that he was "an example to us all" (SUNDAY TIMES, 2/24). A statement released by the FA on Saturday read: "The FA has today accepted the resignation of Paul Elliott from all roles representing the organization. This follows a conversation in which discriminatory abusive comments were made to Richard Rufus." Norwich City Manager CHRIS HUGHTON, the only black manager in the EPL, said: "It is very difficult for me to comment on the circumstances, because I do not know them, but I do know Paul Elliott very well." Ligue 1 Olympique de Marseille midfielder JOEY BARTON tweeted: "Is that the same Paul Elliot that sat on the discipline panel that handed me a 12 match ban? He was taking himself ever so serious back then, with all his clueless FA buddies. I cant help but gloat at his downfall" (London DAILY MAIL, 2/24). A statement from Elliott read: "Earlier this week, a former friend and business colleague, made public a text message I sent him, in which I used a term which is widely known as being derogatory to my own community. I regret using it; it is inappropriate and not part of my everyday vocabulary. As an advocate of high-standards of public behaviour, and integrity in public life, I know the use of this word sends out mixed messages and contradicts my position as a Kick It Out trustee" (BBC, 2/23). Bernstein said, "The use of discriminatory language is unacceptable, regardless of context. It has made Paul's position untenable. I wish to thank Paul for his dedicated and unstinting work, particularly in the area of anti-racism. I am saddened by this turn of events. It is with regret we accept Paul's resignation" (London INDEPENDENT, 2/24).