Jens Lehmann sacked by Hertha Berlin for ‘token black guy’ comment
The former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has been sacked from Hertha Berlin’s supervisory board after referring to the German television pundit Dennis Aogo as “a token black guy” in a WhatsApp message.
Lehmann, 51, who played for the Gunners from 2003-08 as well as a brief spell in 2011, and represented Germany 61 times, apologised on social media to Aogo, a former Hamburg and Schalke player who now works for Sky Sports in Germany.
“In a private message from my mobile phone to Dennis Aogo, an impression was created for which I apologised in conversation with Dennis,” he wrote. “As a former national team player he is very knowledgable and has a great presence.”
Hertha have said Lehmann will no longer have a role with them. “Such statements in no way correspond to the values for which Hertha BSC stands and actively campaigns,” the club’s president, Werner Gegenbauer, said. “We distance ourselves from any form of racism.”
Meanwhile, the Wales international Rabbi Matondo revealed he was subjected to racist abuse online, not long after the lifting of a social media boycott. The 20-year-old, who is on loan at Stoke from Schalke, had been sent racist comments. Matondo wrote on Twitter: “Good to see the boycott changed nothing instagram.”
Alongside the text were two examples of abuse he had received since the end of the weekend-long boycott by players, clubs and governing bodies across a range of sports on Monday night. A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said: “The abuse sent to Rabbi Matondo is unacceptable. We do not want it on Instagram and we quickly removed the accounts that sent it.”
The Swansea striker Morgan Whittaker was targeted during the boycott. His club staged their own week-long social media blackout in early April, which was joined by Birmingham.