Everton FC has proscribed The Sun newspaper from covering all it events after a columnist, Kelvin MacKenzie, published “dreadful and indefensible” accusations that compared midfielder Ross Barkley and the people of Liverpool, BBC has reported.
MacKenzie was suspended by the paper after comparing the 23-year-old midfielder, whose grandfather was born in Nigeria, to a “gorilla”.
The column was published one day before the anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster that led to the death of 96 people who were killed unlawfully 28 years ago.
The writer also labelled Barkley “thick” and claimed that men with similar “pay packets” in Liverpool are drug dealers.
However, the article was removed subsequently from The Sun’s website on Friday afternoon, although Merseyside Police confirmed they were investigating the comments.
The club issued a statement on its official website, officially barring The Sun newspaper from covering any events across its facilities.
“Yesterday Everton Football Club informed The Sun newspaper it was banned from Goodison Park, the USM Finch Farm training ground and all areas of the Club’s operation,” the club said.
“Whilst we will not dignify any journalist with a response to appalling and indefensible allegations, the newspaper has to know that any attack on this City, either against a much respected community or individual, is not acceptable.”