See the Salut! Sunderland posting “Steve Bruce, Racism And The Sun That Doesn’t Shine” for our original report of Bruce v Murdoch. This is the happy-again sequel …
I do not have the text of The Sun‘s apology to Steve Bruce – though I’ve asked if anyone at Ready To Go can help out – and I won’t pay overseas prices to buy the paper and find out for myself. But they’ve made the apology, and it has been accepted.
You may remember that Bruce considered suing, and the club banned the paper from press conferences and the stadium, after a headline above a report of Marcos Angeleri’s quotes, about suffering from not being English, suggested Bruce had been caught in his “second race storm”. The “first” had been the Darren Bent transfer saga prompting Gérard Houllier to say not being Englsh may have accounted for criticism of him.
If this is the first you’ve seen of it, I imagine you’re thinking how on earth anyone could get from either set of quotes to the interpretation that racism was being alleged.
And you’d be right. It was, as I have already pointed out, crass journalism (however absurd the original comments from Angeleri and Houllier that inspired the bogus headline). But it was clearly taken seriously, and I do not blame Bruce for being indignant and even hurt.
The Sunderland Echo now reports that The Sun has printed an apology for the article and sent a letter of apology to Bruce, which the manager has accepted.
He told the Echo he took criticism of his managerial performance during the present bad run as something that went with the job, but added:
“I found the article really insulting and I was very angry about it. It was unfair, untrue and extremely damaging to me to suggest I’m in any way racist … what I do have a problem with is the accusation that I’m a racist – I found that obscene. Thankfully, though, they’ve issued an apology and I’m prepared to accept that. So as far as I’m concerned, that’s the end of it.”
I hope the apology and letter were grovelling. But as I have noted here and at RTG, The Sun was not alone in combining the two sets of quotes and suggesting that racism was being alleged on both occasions. Maybe he should have done as I suggested: sued, collected healthy aggregate damages and given the proceeds to the kick racism out of football people at Kick It out.