Ex-Derby player Craig Ramage sacked by BBC after 'unacceptable' comments
Last Updated: 17/02/20 10:42am
Former Derby player Craig Ramage has been sacked by the BBC following "entirely unacceptable" comments he made about the club's black players.
Ex-Derby midfielder Ramage criticised the club's "young black lads" and claimed they needed "pulling down a peg or two" after the Rams drew 1-1 against Huddersfield on Saturday.
Speaking on BBC Radio Derby's Sportscene Podcast, Ramage said: "When I look over and I look at certain players, their body language, their stance, the way they act, you just feel, 'whoa, hold on a minute - he needs pulling down a peg or two'.
"So I'd probably say that about all the young black lads."
Derby left-back Max Lowe spoke out on social media against the comments made by radio pundit Ramage, which were later removed from the podcast.
A BBC spokesperson said: "These were entirely unacceptable comments and we will no longer be working with Craig."
Derby earlier issued a statement condemning the remarks made by their former player and said they "stand shoulder to shoulder, together as one with all our players".
It read: "Derby County Football Club is aware of comments made by a BBC employee after yesterday's game against Huddersfield Town, directed specifically at a section of our young players.
"We have been in contact with the BBC throughout the day and underline that we do not in any way condone any form of discrimination.
"We take comments like these extremely seriously, we do not tolerate them, and stand shoulder to shoulder, together as one with all our players."
Ramage issued a "heartfelt apology" for his "wholly inappropriate" words on Sunday evening.
Ramage posted on Twitter: "I wish to apologise unreservedly for a comment that I made after yesterday's game. What I said was wholly inappropriate and unintentional. Race is irrelevant to the issues that I was discussing and I deeply regret what I said. I sincerely hope that the players accept my apology.
"I would like to reiterate my heartfelt apology not only to the players but also the fans that have listened to me over the past seven years and also to those that followed me throughout my career. I would like to reinforce that this error in no way reflects my personal views."
Lowe, who was an unused substitute against Huddersfield, wrote on Instagram: "As a young black footballer making my way in the game, I was shocked by comments made by one of the analysts on BBC Radio Derby's Sportscene programme after our 1-1 draw with Huddersfield.
"With the support from people I have around me - and after reading today that Raheem Sterling is to spearhead an anti-racism and anti-discrimination taskforce on behalf of players from all backgrounds - I have decided to speak out on behalf of black footballers at Derby County.
"Racial ignorance, stereotyping and intolerance negatively affects the image of impressionable young footballers and creates an unnecessary divide in society.
"I am also disappointed that a public service broadcaster did not step in to ask the analyst to explain his reasoning, or to distance themselves from these archaic thoughts.
"This was broadcast at the same time BBC Derby is promoting a 27-minute feature with former Rams defender Charlie Palmer about the difficulties he faced a as a young black footballer in the 1980s.
"As a professional footballer at an ambitious, high-profile Championship club I know that my performances will be scrutinised and I have no problem with that whatsoever - but I do not think it is acceptable for myself and my team-mate Jayden Bogle to be judged by the colour of our skin.
"Thank you for taking your time reading this - in a world where you can be anything, be kind."
The PFA said it had been in contact with Lowe and urged players to continue to speak out against any racist attitudes or discriminatory language.
"We were dismayed by the casual and racist stereotyping exposed on air, a reflection of views that are sadly all too common within the industry," a PFA statement read.
"We were also incredibly disappointed that these comments went unchallenged by the on-air presenter. When professionals within the industry share these views, it legitimises the racist abuse the players are regularly receiving from the stands and on social media."