The Sun publishes apology to Ross Barkley

The apology relates to a column which made offensive comments about Barkely and Liverpool people

BY Sinéad Farrell 12:40 Saturday 22 April 2017, 12:40 22 Apr 2017

Martin Rickett/PA Wire/PA Images

The Sun has published an apology to Everton player Ross Barkley, in relation to a column about him that appeared in the newspaper last week.

Columnist Kelvin MacKenzie was suspended for comparing Barkley to a "a gorilla in the zoo," when writing about the player after he was attacked in a nightclub. Barkely's grandfather is from Nigeria. 

MacKenzie also wrote that Barkley is "an attractive catch in the Liverpool area where the only men with similar pay packets are drug dealers".

The Sun newspaper was subsequently banned from Goodison Park on the back of the column, which also contained offensive comments about Liverpool people.

An apology to Barkley was published in today's edition of the paper:

The full apology reads:

"On 14 April 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 paper was unaware of Ross 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."

The piece was written on the eve of the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, in which 96 Liverpool fans died in 1989.

MacKenzie was the editor of The Sun at the time of the 1989 tragedy. At the time, the newspaper published a front page story claiming that Liverpool supporters attacked police officers tending to injured fans and stole from victims who had died in the tragedy.

He has since apologised for publishing that story.

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