Though it would not be considered inappropriate to describe Alan Pardew’s recent stint as manager of Charlton Athletic as abortive, there’s an awful lot wince over after the gaffer-turned-substitute TV analyst compared a challenge by Chelsea’s Michael Essien to rape. From the Guardian’s Owen Gibson :
After the Ghana international clattered into Manchester City’s striker Ched Evans, Pardew said: “He’s a strong boy. He knocks him off.” His fellow pundit Alan Hansen interjected to say, “he mauls him”, before Pardew continued, “he absolutely rapes him”. The comment was not spotted at the time by the host Adrian Chiles, Hansen or any of the programme’s production staff who, it is understood, thought Pardew had said that Essien “rakes him”.
But after receiving 35 complaints from members of the public the BBC yesterday issued a statement that read: “Alan Pardew apologises unconditionally for any offence caused by remarks he made in the Match of the Day 2 programme last night.”
The comments were condemned by women’s groups. Lee Eggleston, the chairwoman of Rape Crisis England and Wales, said the term was “completely inappropriate”. She said: “That something as serious as sexual assault has been misused to describe football is appalling. He has trivialised and undermined the seriousness of rape and anyone who has suffered sexual violence will rightly be angry.”