England Manager Roy Hodgson and Andros Townsend

England Manager Roy Hodgson and Andros Townsend

Here we go again….

Via The Daily Mirror

Andros Townsend has defended Roy Hodgson after the England boss was caught up in a row over a ‘monkey’ joke he told his players in the dressing room during Tuesday night’s win over Poland.

Hodgson recounted an old NASA space monkey joke at half-time – words that are thought to have caused offence to one England player, who believed it carried racial connotations.

But the Tottenham star says that “no offence was meant and none was taken” over Hodgson’s words, which were used to encourage Chris Smalling to get more of the ball to England’s winger in the second-half.

“I don’t know what all this fuss is about. No offence was meant and none was taken! It’s not even news worthy!” he tweeted.

Wayne Rooney also leapt to the defence of the England manager, tweeting: “Seen the story on roy this morning. He done nothing wrong. This is ridiculous.”

The England boss is believed to have recounted the joke in full, which reads:

“NASA decided they’d finally send a man up in a capsule after sending only monkeys in the earlier missions,” the joke goes.

“They fire the man and the monkey into space.

“The intercom crackles, ‘Monkey, fire the retros.’

“A little later, ‘Monkey, check the solid fuel supply.’

“Later still, “Monkey, check the life support systems for the man.’

“The astronaut takes umbrage and radioes NASA, ‘When do I get to do something?’

“NASA replies, ‘In 15 minutes – feed the monkey.’”


Hilarious joke Roy.. *rolls eyes*

Anyway the England manager has since apologised and said in a statement,

“There was absolutely no intention on my part to say anything inappropriate. I made this clear straight away to Andros in the dressing room.

“I also spoke to Andros again on Wednesday. He has assured me and The FA he did not take any offence, and understood the point I was making in the manner I intended.

Anti racist campaigners have also jumped in to defend Roy (CLICK HERE) along with former player Stan Collymore.

But anti racism organisation ‘Kick It Out’ are not entirely convinced and has called for an investigation in to Hodgson’s ‘joke’.

In a statement the group said,

“Kick It Out, football’s equality and inclusion campaign, recognises and shares the concerns of the parties who felt mindful to bring the comments into the public domain.

“The matter has been raised by the Chair, Lord Herman Ouseley, directly with The Football Association (FA), who acknowledges the apology made by Roy Hodgson, and now seeks an investigation to ascertain the full facts and ensure a similar situation does not arise again.”

I am curious, I wonder who reported Hodgson to the FA (Football Association) because in general when it comes to speaking out against racism etc, black/ mixed race footballers are a lost a cause, who behave like their tongue’s have been cut out and I am past caring about their plight.

I don’t think a black/mixed race player leaked this incident because even if Hodgson’s did say something blatantly racist in the dressing room none of those cowards would have the balls to report him.  No, I suspect someone within the back room staff (most likely Caucasian) is responsible for this leak.


All I can do right now is just laugh at him.

Your thoughts please. Is Hodgson guilty of racism or just guilty of telling a bad joke?

16 replies »

  1. I admit to not getting some jokes as quick as i should but i do not understand the joke. And is the only reason for this being labelled a “race storm” because he used the joke to explain why he wanted Smallings (mixed raced) to pass the ball as much as possible to Townsend (mixed race) and used the term monkey?

    I think Roy Hodgson apologizing has made this more of a “thing” than it needs to be in this situation if the joke has no history of being a veiled race joke.

    Typical sports media making more of this rather than investigate racism at lower league level or blatant stereotyping of thinking black players are only good for running fast rather than being “intelligent” players.

  2. I don’t believe that in this day and age, after all the recent racism rows involving John Terry and Luis Suarez, that the England manager would deliberately voice a racist remark in front of the England players, esp. with at least four non-white players present. The joke just happened to be aimed at two black players.

    Sometimes we get over sensitive and bawl racism over any innocuous remark. Calling for an investigation is a waste of funds.

  3. I think he believes by putting in all those black players, which must be the first squad where there have been more black players representing England, he thought they would have to do all the donkey work and expects a lot more from them than some. I am sure whoever reported it encountered it first hand because he was there, and felt it was racist at that time. Otherwise there wouldn’t have been any complaints.

  4. Maybe I’m missing something, maybe I’m a little slow, but I don’t see where the racism is in this ”joke.” I personally didn’t get the joke myself, but either way I don’t how it’s racist. I’m going to have to side with Andros Townsend. This is getting a little ridiculous now. People who insist in throwing the race at any giving moment do an injustice to true victims of racism. Ever heard the story of the boy who cried wolf?

  5. Here is a scenario that was put to me yesterday while talking about this story:-

    There is a little old white lady that lives a couple doors down from you, she is always laughing and smiling and you see her always conversing with all different types of people and she is not known for being racist or any other behaviors. She comes over to you (you being black) and your son to say hello, your son is one of those cheeky kids and always says cheeky things to people. The little old white lady turns to you and says “is he a little cheeky monkey?”.

    Now, do you feel she is racist or made a racist comment?

    Do you smile and go research to see if that saying is a known sly racist term so that you can ask the lady not to say that again?

    Do you wish that old people sometimes stop using old sayings that involve monkey in it because of the history with that word and black people?

    Or do you have no problem with it as you know that it is a usual term for cheeky kids and you fully understood the context and you do not wish your son to feel uncomfortable every time a white person say something about monkeys near you ?

  6. Maybe I’m being slow but I read the joke a few times and fail to see where the racism lies. Just because monkey was used in the joke it automatically means it’s racist? And yes I do understand the racial connotations about monkeys and black people. NASA sent monkeys into space and from that historical fact an unfunny joke was made about it and said to a team of players of mixed ethnicities. Had it been to a group solely made up of black men I’d think differently and wonder why reference monkeys only to black people?

    Someone help me out here (seriously).

    And as for the scenario. I call my one year old a cheeky monkey because monkeys are indeed cheeky and naughty, and it’s a very common term to call little ones. So if someone of another race called her that i wouldn’t be offended, but if they said she looks like a monkey then that’s something totally different.

  7. Andros Townsend said that he sees what the manager said as a compliment. He was asking them to pass the ball to him. He also seems to be grateful that the manager picked him for the team.

  8. I remember when I used to work for a PR firm and my colleague kept jokingly referring to me as a cheeky monkey. I told her on countless occasions not to call me that but she continued and one day I just went off on her, explaining the historical context of black people being likened to monkeys and why we therefore find it offensive. She was mortified, and on reflection, I wish I had explained why I didn’t like it the first time instead of tiptoeing around the issue of race. So maybe if we were a bit more open as a society about racism instead of pretending it doesn’t exist, we wouldn’t have these grey areas. Hodgson may have well meant it as benign ‘harmless banter’ but if he had any degree of sensitivity towards racial matters he would’ve chosen another term.

  9. What the guy was saying when he gave that scenario is that to him it is a simple saying that is not racist but he knows that some will feel differently depending on the situation, if they have never heard such terms or has been racially abused so much that any mention of monkey will set them off. I can now see after hearing a bit more about what happened how 1 or 2 players would have been a bit miffed at that comment, it sounds like Roy Hodgeson said feed the monkey first then said what it meant with that joke/saying. Most the non-white players who played are under 25 years old and someone like Daniel Sturridge (who i am betting is the player who has made the complaint) who comes from a big family of footballers who used to hear people call them monkey would upset someone like him. This is when older people need to keep things direct and learn to stop using dated sayings when dealing with younger people.

    Now i can see why some white working class men think they are struggling, all the things they have been raised on and how they think is in a round about way going to offend women, non-whites, gays and disabled loooool, they need their own school to help them for the future. It’s the same with the older black strong religious types who i used to work with, when we went on training courses on Homophobia they were struggling with the concepts that were raised, They were not having none of it looool.

  10. I am not accusing anyone as I don’t know how true this is, but there are rumours suggesting the mole is a certain white England player with an agenda (trying to get Hodgson sacked), who is hiding behind the knowledge that everyone will automatically assume the “offended player” is black. The said player will be referred to here simply as Player A, and from what other people are saying the player in question:

    1. Has previous for undermining managers. After being dropped from his club team by an ex-manager, in striking similarity to this case stories were then leaked to the press. That manager was subsequently sacked, and some time later (a few months ago) that manager who is now manager at another club, publicly confirmed that Player A did not support him at that club.

    February 16, 2012

    By ESPN staff

    Andre Villas-Boas has confirmed that some members of the Chelsea squad have turned against him but insists his project still has the backing of the owner.

    Villas-Boas has endured a tough start to life as Chelsea manager, currently possessing the worst record of any of the bosses employed during the Roman Abramovich era and with the club in danger of missing out on Champions League qualification.

    Following a meeting with Abramovich in the wake of last weekend’s defeat to Everton, a story was leaked to the press claiming the players had turned on their manager. Villas-Boas denied “strong words” were exchanged and added: “We had no row. There was a meeting of technical staff and players – there was nothing dramatic. Everyone knows we need more. The results have not been impressive, it is up to the players and the management to take responsibility.”

    However, he did concede that there are now members of his squad who do not support his methods.

    “That is normal,” he said. “They don’t have to back my project. It’s the owner who backs my project.”

    Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa claimed this week that the manager was being undermined as key members of the Chelsea squad were still in contact with Jose Mourinho, but Villas-Boas insisted it is not a problem for him.

    “It is normal,” he said. “I have emotional attachment to players at Academica and Porto. I text them and they text back, it is normal. I have no problem (with Mourinho texting).”

    Villas-Boas remains confident that Abramovich will give him the time he needs to overhaul the squad despite the mounting problems.

    Asked if he could lose his job, he replied: “I don’t think so, but it’s a question that you will have to ask the owner. I think the owner has full trust in me and will continue to progress with the ideas that we have.

    25th February 2012

    Speaking about his relationship with Villas-Boas, Player A said: ‘I think, from the outside, you can probably see that it’s not been ideal but the important thing is not to focus on individual relationships too much. It can only be negative and people do like to play on negatives.

    ‘There have been certain issues. Certain players, WE DON’T LIKE NOT TO PLAY. But it’s never a case of players throwing their toys out of the pram to the detriment of the club.”

    Villas-Boas convinced he was undermined by senior Chelsea players
    March 30, 2012, 11:05 pm

    Former Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas is convinced he was undermined by the senior player clique at the club.

    Now back in Portugal, Villas-Boas’s strong suspicion is that several players spoke out against him directly to Roman Abramovich after the 3-1 Champions League first-leg defeat against Napoli last month, says the Guardian.

    AVB left Player A and Ashley Cole out of a team already missing the injured John Terry.

    As part of the payoff, an agreement will be in place that Villas-Boas does not discuss publicly the dressing-room secrets from his time at the London club. In particular Chelsea do not want him to reveal the deterioration in his relationship with senior players such as Player A and Cole, which had suffered to the point where the atmosphere at the training ground was openly mutinous at times.

    8th May 2013

    Andre Villas-Boas has hit out at Player A, claiming the midfielder never supported him during his time at Chelsea.

    Tottenham boss Villas-Boas returns to Stamford Bridge on Wednesday for the first time since he was sacked by the Blues after a tumultuous nine months in charge.

    The Portuguese was axed after a run of three victories in nine games and criticised Lampard for his attitude during his ill-fated reign.

    Villas-Boas said: “Yes, there was a lack of support from Player A but his ability and quality were never in doubt.”

    He added: “Whether the Chelsea players supported me does not matter right now. And probably being sacked made me a better manager.”

    The following info was also posted yesterday on Digitalspy:

    [quote]Posted Yesterday, 12:23

    Player A has previous for throwing tantrums when left out of the England side, I believe under McClaren. Also the Chelsea rumours regarding Villas Boas.

    It’s a bit like Cluedo, trying to work out the guilty party. Rather like politics, football in this country is all about knowing how to use the press and hit your enemies when you can.

    2. Apparently Player A is now a celebrity book author with links / contacts to showbiz journalist Gordon Smart.

    “I met the Chelsea and England star, now a celebrity author, in a swanky eatery owned by musician Liam Gallagher and showbiz journalist Gordon Smart.”


    One of the journalists who broke this story was the very same Gordon Smart mentioned above, a showbiz journalist who is a friend of Player A’s and helped him publicise his books.

    Scott Taylor ‏@ScottTaylor15 1h

    .@gordonsmart struggling to think who your source in the England dressing room could be?!?


    Giggs Boson ‏@giggs_boson 8h

    The Sun reporter who wrote the Hodgson story, Gordon Smart, seen here cosying up with Player A in the summer


    3. Gordon Smart gave an interview to Talksport where he says he got the story directly “from an England player in the dressing room” who gave him a phone call the morning after the match.

    Listen to Interview:

    4. Another journalist who broke the story was Oliver Holt, who according to rumours was the ghost writer on Player A’s autobiography (but Holt denies this)

    5. Player A’s uncle is Manager B, who lost out to Roy Hodgson for the England manager’s job and not even a week ago bitterly tried to undermine Hodgson just before the last two qualifiers. Is it just coincidence that Manager B also writes for the Sun?

    6. Someone in or near the England dressing room leaked that Hodgson half time story, and according to a post on a Chelsea forum: “A Telegraph journalist is already claiming he knows it to be a player upset at being left out.”

    7. According to Paul Hayward in the Telegraph:

    “The Football Association believe (and this is so far unsubstantiated) that a family member of the player offended by Hodgson’s half-time space monkey joke fed The Sun with their splash.”


    8. Roy Hodgson gave an “exclusive interview” in the Daily Mail yesterday. Although he was not quoted saying this, the journalists responsible for the exclusive interview wrote in their article that Hodgson believes this incident is part of a “smear campaign” against him:

    Hodgson believes a smear campaign has been started despite him leading England to their fifth successive World Cup finals with a 2-0 victory over Poland at Wembley.


    Is there any other player apart from Player A from that England dressing room who has such good contacts with the newspaper (The Sun) and journalists responsible for this story (Gordon Smart and Oliver Holt), previous history of undermining his manager, in addition to a ossible motives / agenda for trying to get Hodgson sacked?

    A reporter from the Telegraph on Talksport the other night mentioned that because the player went straight to a “showbiz journalist” rather than a sports journalist that was very strange behaviour and therefore that narrows down who it is in his mind quite signifcantly.

    But until the showbiz journalist or player himself reveals who it is, no-one will know for sure. and many people will continue to assume it was a black player. The only thing we know is that the reporter claims he got the story directly “from an England player in the dressing room” the next morning, while the Telegraph claims the Football Association believes “a family member” of the “offended player” was responsible for feeding it to the Sun. For the record this is the list of players in the squad for that match against Poland:


    1 Hart
    2 Smalling
    3 Baines
    4 Gerrard
    5 Cahill
    6 Jagielka
    7 Townsend (Milner – 86′ )
    8 Carrick (Lampard – 71′ Booked )
    9 Sturridge (Wilshere – 82′ )
    10 Rooney Booked
    11 Welbeck


    12 Jones
    13 Ruddy
    14 Gibbs
    15 Wilshere
    16 Lampard
    17 Milner
    18 Barkley
    19 Defoe
    20 Sterling
    21 Lambert
    22 Forster

  11. I don’t believe a black player complained. Like I said in my post when it comes to speaking out against racism etc, black/ mixed race footballers are a lost a cause, who behave like their tongue’s have been cut out.

    A white player… Frank Lampard … the leak. Yes it’s possible

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October 2013
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