“The Scottish Football Awards apologize for racist, sexist and homophobic remarks,” read the statement after Bill Copeland’s speech.


The Scottish Football Writers’ Association has issued an apology after allegations of sexist, racist and homophobic slurs were made during a speech at the awards ceremony on Sunday.

The banquet honored Sir Alex Ferguson with a lifetime achievement award, but it was overshadowed by criticism from keynote speaker Bill Copeland.

Eilidh Barboura sportscaster, did not identify Copeland in her tweet, but said she had ‘never felt so unwelcome at the company I work at’ and added, ‘A massive reminder that he there is still a lot of work to be done to make our place a fair game.”

The SFWA apologized to anyone injured or distressed by the material of one of our after-dinner presenters at last night’s annual awards ceremony.

“We unanimously agreed that this will serve as a catalyst to review and improve the format of our future events to make them more fun and inspiring for everyone.”

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“Women suffer from discrimination and misogyny in society,” the Women in Football Network and football’s premier equality organization Kick it Out said in a joint statement.

“That has to change. Racism and homophobia are stains on the game, which we must continue to confront and eradicate. Discrimination has no place in sport or anywhere else.

Gabrielle Bennettthe co-chair of the Women in Journalism group was also present and said it was not the first time she had heard rude remarks at the event.

“Last night was probably the sixth or seventh time I attended this dinner party,” she said on the The BBC’s Lunchtime Live radio program. “Speakers continually make color jokes, and by color I mean sexist or misogynistic.

“The speech last night was very extraordinary. I left after about five minutes of a 20-minute lecture packed with sexist jokes, and saw Eilidh Barbour and her table get up to leave.

“It should also be noted that many people laughed at these jokes.” We were at two tables in a huge room, and a lot of people thought it was hilarious. We still have a lot of work to do to change people’s ideas about what is acceptable.

At yesterday’s event, BBC Sport broadcaster Eilidh Barbour and Women in Journalism Scotland co-chair Gabriella Bennett both went on a protest strike and tweeted about it without mentioning Mr Copeland.

Following a response on Twitter, a representative for Mr. Copeland and the SFWA both apologized for any offense caused, and his agency dropped him as the after-dinner speaker.

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Kick It Out and Women In Football issued a joint statement condemning the statements, stating that the SFWA awards should not be used as a forum to spread insulting and discriminatory views, making these groups and communities feel excluded and disrespected.

Bennett described herself as “sickened” but not “shocked”.

Participants “feel unwelcome in the industry they work in”, according to Women in Football and Kick It Out.

“We accept the Scottish Football Writers‘ Association’s apologies and look forward to their promised assessment of future events,” the statement continued.

“In the meantime, we will contact you to find out more about the situation and offer our support to those affected.”

Gordon Poole and Neil Drovertwo organizations that have previously dealt with Copeland, verified to me that the former lawyer was not involved in the event through their services.

“The Scottish Football Writers’ Association apologizes to anyone offended or outraged by the content of any of our speakers after dinner at last night’s annual awards ceremony,” a representative from the SFWA.

“We unanimously agreed that this will serve as a catalyst to review and improve the format of our future events to make them more fun and inspiring for everyone.”


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