News, Culture & Society

Guests walk out of Scottish Football awards ceremony over ‘sexist, racist and homophobic jokes’ 

Guests walk out of Scottish Football awards ceremony that honoured Sir Alex Ferguson over ‘sexist, racist and homophobic jokes made by keynote speaker’

  • Guests walked out of a Scottish football awards ceremony in Glasgow yesterday
  • Keynote speaker Bill Copeland ‘made sexist, racist and homophobic jokes’ 
  • BBC presenter Eilidh Barbour led the walkout and called for ‘#equalgame’ 
  • Were YOU at the awards? Email jack.wright@mailonline.co.uk 

Guests walked out of a Scottish football awards ceremony that honoured Sir Alex Ferguson last night after a keynote speaker allegedly made ‘sexist, racist and homophobic jokes’.

BBC presenter Eilidh Barbour and Women in Journalism Scotland co-chair Gabriella Bennett led a walkout at the Scottish Football Writers’ Association (SFWA) awards in Glasgow in protest over the jokes.

It is alleged that ex-criminal barrister Bill Copeland made ‘sexist, racist and homophobic remarks’ as keynote speaker. 

A representative for Mr Copeland told MailOnline that he was sorry for any offence caused by his remarks.

Ms Barbour tweeted: ‘Never felt so unwelcome in the industry I work in than sitting at the Scottish Football Writers Awards.  

Eilidh Barbour pictured reporting for STV Scottish Television

It is alleged that ex-criminal barrister Bill Copeland made 'sexist, racist and homophobic remarks' as keynote speaker. A representative for Mr Copeland told MailOnline that he was sorry for any offence caused by his remarks

It is alleged that ex-criminal barrister Bill Copeland made ‘sexist, racist and homophobic remarks’ as keynote speaker. A representative for Mr Copeland told MailOnline that he was sorry for any offence caused by his remarks

BBC presenter Eilidh Barbour tweeted: 'Never felt so unwelcome in the industry I work in than sitting at the Scottish Football Writers Awards. A huge reminder there is still so much to do in making our game an equal place #callitout #equalgame'

BBC presenter Eilidh Barbour tweeted: ‘Never felt so unwelcome in the industry I work in than sitting at the Scottish Football Writers Awards. A huge reminder there is still so much to do in making our game an equal place #callitout #equalgame’

Women in Journalism Scotland co-chair Gabriella Bennett added: 'I was at these awards tonight and sat through the same sexist and racist jokes made by a keynote speaker. My table walked out at the same time Eilidh's did'

Women in Journalism Scotland co-chair Gabriella Bennett added: ‘I was at these awards tonight and sat through the same sexist and racist jokes made by a keynote speaker. My table walked out at the same time Eilidh’s did’

‘A huge reminder there is still so much to do in making our game an equal place #callitout #equalgame’. 

Replying on Twitter, Ms Bennett added: ‘I was at these awards tonight and sat through the same sexist and racist jokes made by a keynote speaker. My table walked out at the same time Eilidh’s did’. 

In a statement, the SFWA said: ‘The Scottish Football Writers’ Association apologises to anyone offended or upset by material from one of our after-dinner speakers at last night’s annual awards dinner.  

‘We have agreed unanimously that this will act as a catalyst to review and improve the format of our future events to make it an enjoyable and inspirational event for all.’ 

Ex-Manchester United and Aberdeen manager Sir Alex was among the attendees at the ceremony in Glasgow, at which he collected the SFWA’s Lifetime Achievement award. 

MailOnline has also contacted Ms Barbour, Ms Bennett and the SFWA for further comment.

It is not the first football awards ceremony to have been engulfed by sexism and racism storms.

At a PFA dinner in 1997, football agent Rachel Anderson was banned from attending what was then a men-only event.

After being refused entry on the night of the ceremony, she duly took the PFA to court and won.

At the same dinner in 2013, black comedian Reginald D Hunter repeatedly used the N-word and made jokes about Jews and women. Then-PFA chairman Clark Carlisle admitted afterwards that he and his colleagues had made a ‘gross error of judgment’ in booking Hunter.

Were YOU at the awards? Email jack.wright@mailonline.co.uk 

***
Read more at DailyMail.co.uk