Dave Whelan: Kick It Out offers to help under-fire Wigan owner

Malky Mackay and Dave Whelan (right)
Wigan drew at home with Middlesbrough in Malky Mackay's first game in charge on Saturday

Anti-discrimination body Kick It Out is willing to help Wigan owner Dave Whelan following alleged racist comments.

Whelan, 77, apologised for newspaper comments he made about Jewish and Chinese people while defending the appointment of Malky Mackay as manager.

Kick It Out chairman Lord Ouseley told the BBC: "You cannot castigate Dave Whelan because of his age.

"We must recognise as a diverse society that we have people of all backgrounds, ages and characteristics."

Ouseley told 5 live's Sportsweek programme: "Age is no excuse. But people say things that are of a different age.

"The problem is that we have to help people come to terms with modern expectations we have of the way people should conduct themselves.

The Sun back page and Daily Telegraph sport section front page
The Sun (left) and Daily Telegraph (right) covered the story in their early editions on Friday

"As he [Whelan] was making the appointment, we had Kick It Out staff training and working with their young footballers because we are looking to the future to make sure the next generation of players and supporters will be better than the present in dealing with attitudes.

The Football Association issued a statement on Friday in which it said it was "very concerned" by the situation and had written to Whelan.

Dave Whelan should step aside - Mark Lawrenson

The Latics owner then said on Saturday that he would resign as Wigan chairman if the FA punished him for the controversy in which Cardiff owner Vincent Tan has labelled him "racist".

Whelan has denied being racist, although he insisted he was misquoted in the original interview with the Guardian newspaper about Mackay's appointment and did not intend any racial slight.

Mackay was recruited by Wigan despite being under investigation by the FA for allegedly sending homophobic, sexist and racist text messages while at Cardiff, who sacked him in acrimonious circumstances in December 2013.

The Scot, who took charge of the Wigan team for the first time against Middlesbrough on Saturday, has also denied being racist.

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