By Coral Barry
A Daily Telegraph journalist has been attacked online after he labelled Jamie Vardy a “massive racist” when sarcastically congratulating him for his new scoring record.
Vardy wrote himself into the Premier League record books on Saturday when he struck in his 11th consecutive game during Leicester City’s 1-1 draw with Manchester United.
Jonathan Liew, a reporter who covers football and various other sports for the Daily Telegraph, joined the parade of congratulatory tweets on Saturday, except his had a slight difference.
Mr Liew was referring to a video from August which showed the England international racially abusing a man in a casino and using the word “Jap” three times as he told him to “walk on”.
Vardy subsequently apologised for his “appalling” behaviour, which was captured on camera, and Leicester handed him what they called a ‘substantial fine’.
“I wholeheartedly apologise for any offence I’ve caused,” Vardy said afterwards. “It was a regrettable error in judgement I take full responsibility for and I accept my behaviour was not up to what’s expected of me.”
The term ‘Jap’ has been considered a rascist slur since World War II and the internment of Japanese Americans in the United States during the war.
Mr Liew’s Tweet received huge attention on Saturday night and the journalist was then subjected to abuse on social media site Twitter.
Mr Liew claimed he was within his rights to condemn Vardy as the player issued a public apology when the video emerged in the public domain in the the summer.
After a sustained backlash on Saturday night, Mr Liew posted on Facebook on Sunday morning to outline his position and respond directly to people’s arguments against him.
In the post, Mr Liew suggests that people guilty of racism like Vardy should be a “pariah” and “out of a job”.
This statement was also attacked on Facebook, although at the time of publication, there were also comments of support for his post.