Derby star Max Lowe hits back at BBC Derby Presenter Craig Ramage after controversial comments

This afternoon, Derby County star Max Lowe hit back at BBC Derby presenter Craig Ramage after he criticised the clubs black players for their attitude.

What was said on BBC Derby then?

Speaking on BBC Derby’s Sportscene podcast, Ramage said that the black players need “pulling down a peg or two” – here’s the quote in full.

“I think they’ve had it too easy some of these players, and I feel like they’ve dropped off the boil feeling like they’ve arrived, they’ve made it”, began Ramage.

“I might be wrong but from my, from looking in, when I look over and I look at certain players, their body language, their stance, the way they act, you just feel hold on a minute, he needs pulling down a peg or two.

“So I’d probably say that about all the young black lads, all the young advice if they wanted it, that, you know, it’s about, when you are struggling for form, you are going through a bit of a sticky patch, it’s about going back to basics, working hard and doing the right things.

“Doing the easy things at times, not taking any chances, work your socks off Chris, That is my biggest, erm, thing, I would say to these players.”

The response from Max Lowe

“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,” said Lowe.

“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.”

BBC Derby aren’t an innocent bystander here…

Simply put, BBC Derby are in the wrong here because they allowed this absolute horsesh*t from Craig Ramage to be aired on their platforms completely unchecked. Eventually, they did edit out these comments and repost the podcast – but by that point it was a case of too little, too late.

To add to this, it appeared that NEITHER of Ramage’s two co-hosts recognised that what he was saying was completely wrong and challenged it – which is a downright disgrace.

Ramage needs to issue an apology and to be honest I’m utterly baffled as to why he hasn’t already. Then, the BBC need to take action in some way. The action needs to be severe and it needs to send out a statement that the BBC does NOT tolerate this kind of behaviour and comments.

For me personally, Craig Ramage should be sacked from his role at BBC Derby and should never work in football again. To be so far off the pulse of modern society and yet still be given the platform to give your frankly appalling opinions is ridiculous.

The football industry is one that has struggled with issues of racism dating back as far as you can imagine, as is pretty much every other industry. In Portugal tonight, there was another incident as FC Porto striker Moussa Marega walked off the pitch in protest at racist insults directed his way from the Vitoria Guimaraes supporters.

It’s not something that can be fixed overnight and to be honest, no amount of education can fix the level of ignorance shown by Craig Ramage today. It’s a societal issue and until we as a society start properly punishing these people, the problem will continue to persist.

No human being should be criticised and singled out solely based on the colour of their skin. Max Lowe did a very good thing today in calling out this discrimination, and hopefully we will see a continuation of this trend that has seen more and more footballers speaking publicly about this sort of thing.

It’s not something that can be brushed under the rug, and it’s not something that should be brushed under the rug either. BBC Derby, it’s time to act, and it’s time to act decisively.

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Kieran Harm
Kieran hails from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and holds a degree in Sports Journalism from the University of Brighton. He covers a range of sports, specialising in football and NFL. Kieran is a long-suffering member of the Toon Army as well as a very proud member of Broncos Country.

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