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Dirty Tackle

Malky Mackay's banter zone fallout (with guest star Harry Redknapp)

Brooks Peck
Dirty Tackle
Cardiff City's manager Malky Mackay arrives at the dugout before the start of their English Premier League soccer match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, London, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013
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Cardiff City's manager Malky Mackay arrives at the dugout before the start of their English Premier League soccer match against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, London, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)

The Daily Mail published a collection of sexist, racist and homophobic text messages between former Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay and head of recruitment Iain Moody, setting off a domino effect of stupidity. In the immediate aftermath of the scandal, which ended Mackay and Moody's hopes of reuniting at Crystal Palace, the League Managers Association attempted to do damage control on Mackay's behalf, but only made things so much worse.

Before getting to Mackay's apology, the statement first rendered it completely useless with terrible excuses.

"In the course of a search by the Club in early 2014 of 10,000 private text messages sent to and from another member of staff during Mr Mackay’s employment at Cardiff, in relation to other matters, it emerged that Malky had, it seems, sent a couple of one line texts that were, with the benefit of hindsight, very regrettable and disrespectful of other cultures. These were two text messages sent in private at a time Malky felt under great pressure and when he was letting off steam to a friend during some friendly text message banter."

The phrase "friendly text message banter" invited scorn and disbelief as it brought back memories of former Sky Sports anchor Richard Keys attempting to excuse his own sexist comments by claiming they were only a "private bit of banter" with colleague Andy Gray.

The response to the LMA's farcical statement was so overwhelming that the organization ended up deleting it from their website and issuing a second statement apologizing for their initial apology statement.

The LMA apologises for some of its wording, in its release yesterday, which was inappropriate and has been perceived to trivialise matters of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature.  That was certainly not our intention. 
It is beyond argument that any comments that are discriminatory, even used in private, are totally unacceptable.  The LMA remains absolutely aware of our responsibility to the game and to promote and uphold the highest standards of behaviour.

With their credibility circling the drain right behind Mackay and Moody, it was then QPR manager Harry Redknapp's turn to take the unnecessary plunge, saying that at least Mackay isn't a murderer and implying that if he texted, he'd be in trouble too. From the Guardian:

“He’s not murdered anyone, he’s not a rapist or a paedophile. He’s made a big mistake. It shouldn’t finish his life or his football career. It’s going to take time for him to get back into the game. People get second chances in life who have committed bad crimes. Why shouldn’t he? He’s made a mistake but we’re not going to hang him for it, are we? Given time his life has to go on. Hopefully he’ll learn from the silly mistakes he’s made.
“Lots of people do that silly tweeting. I’m lucky, I don’t send text messages too often. I do get text messages from people with sick jokes on when something terrible has happened. I don’t read them, they make me ill. But it does happen and I’m sure I’m not the only person who gets them. He’s a good person beneath all that and I hope he comes back. I can’t imagine how he must be suffering for the big mistake he’s made."

Cardiff City, meanwhile, have called for LMA chief executive Richard Bevan's resignation, labeling the group's initial statement "reprehensible" and claiming that they tried to keep the messages quiet for the last three months.

Finally (hopefully), Mackay brought the stupidity full circle by claiming that he's "not anti-sexist" on Sky Sports News.

Banter: Not even once.

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Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter!

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