PFA criticised over Hunter choice

30 April 2013 07:17

The Professional Footballers' Association faced fresh accusations of carelessness on Monday night after it emerged that Reginald D Hunter included jokes about John Terry's race trial in a stand-up gig just four months ago.

The PFA defended their decision to hire black American comedian Hunter to perform at their annual awards ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in central London. The 44-year-old stand-up comedian used the word 'n*****' "liberally" throughout during an uncomfortable set, which many feel overshadowed the ceremony.

The footballers' union claimed on Monday night in a strongly-worded statement that they were "totally dismayed" by the "unacceptable language" used by the comedian, who has appeared several times on national television programmes including the BBC's Have I Got News For You and Live at the Apollo.

The PFA also claim that they did their research on the comedian beforehand, and they released a statement, which read: "He was booked on the basis of his recent television appearances."

Had they seen Hunter's appearance on Live at the Apollo, aired just four days before Christmas last year, they might have thought again about booking the star to perform.

During that set, which was aired on BBC One, Hunter talked about the race row involving former England captain.

Terry was banned for four matches for racially abusing Anton Ferdinand in October 2011, although he was cleared of a racially aggravated public order offence regarding the incident in a criminal court.

Hunter talked openly about the trial, and also claimed that footballers are immune from accusations of racism.

"It doesn't matter whether or not a footballer is racist," Hunter said in the performance, which was repeated on April 7 on BBC Three and is available to watch on YouTube. "That's like being concerned if there were pick pockets at Auschwitz.

"It just doesn't matter."

Source: PA