I'm slow off the mark with this but Tuesday night's events make me ask the question. If this story hasn't crept across the pond too much, here's the situation.

On Tuesday night England had their second game (men's football) in four days. It was the final game in World Cup qualification. Andros Townsend a young black player newly promoted to the squad played a blinder in the first game securing man of the match. By half time in the second game he was equally as impressive.

Half time in the dressing room manager Roy Hodgeson delivers his team talk which included a story of an astronaut sent to space with a monkey. The monkey is super intelligent and gets given loads of tests and important shit to do. The astronaut non plussed by the situation complains to flight control that he doesn't do anything. Don't worry they say "in fifteen minutes you get to feed the monkey". It's perfectly clear Andros is being refered to as the monkey, essentially the point if the team talk is to get the ball to Andros and let him do his thing. Andros continues to have a great second half and England win the game.

The Day after an anonymous source from the dressing room relays the events at half time to a Scotish newspaper, someone clearly not happy with the team talk. The story comes out. Roy apologises if he caused offence. Andros tweets a statement to say he took it as a compliment; no offense caused yada yada.

The media goes bonkers.

The Society Of Black Lawyers make a formal complaint to the Football Association. They have a history of persuing racism in the game although some situations are more clear cut than others. Their argument being essentially that if someone finds Hodgsons words offensive then they are.


My question; Is it racist if someone perceives it as so, whether or not it was deliberately meant? Or does the context of the situation outway the content?

It's been huge here and the story is more multi faceted and in-depth than I have relayed. Though all in all the nub of the argument boils down to that question.