Anger building over Hodgson ‘monkey row’
Stan Collymore has led a ferocious backlash to tabloid reports that put Roy Hodgson at the centre of a ‘monkey row’.
Hodgson used a gag at half-time during the Three Lions’ crunch World Cup qualifier against Poland to illustrate that he wanted right-back Chris Smalling to play the ball more often to Townsend.
The stories in The Sun and Daily Mirror prompted Hodgson to apologise, though Townsend himself took to twitter to describe the whole situation as ‘not even newsworthy’.
The joke goes as follows:
“NASA decided they’d finally send a man up in a capsule after sending only monkeys in the earlier missions. They fire the man and the monkey into space. The intercom crackles, ‘Monkey, fire the retros.’
“A little later, ‘Monkey, check the solid fuel supply.’ Later still, ‘Monkey, check the life support systems for the man.’ The astronaut takes umbrage and radioes NASA, ‘When do I get to do something?’ NASA replies, ‘In 15 minutes – feed the monkey.’”
The idea was pretty clear: Smalling shouldn’t overcomplicate his job, but instead just keep giving the ball to Townsend – who was clearly enjoying yet another good match – to do all the clever stuff.
However, the reports in The Sun and Daily Mirror claim that “at least one player was shocked” because he thought it carried racist undertones.