Like many Latics fans I have mixed feelings about the appointment of Malky Mackay.
Dave Whelan’s decision to appoint Mackay is a controversial and risky appointment that could well backfire on him.
Mackay has been at the centre of a furore since his racist, homophobic and sexist text messages when manager of Cardiff City were exposed. These offensive texts are abhorrent and reprehensible and should not be condoned in any way. The culture of racist, sexist, and homophobic behaviour in football needs to be eradicated but unfortunately it is proving to be a slow process.
His controversial appointment has divided opinion amongst Latics fans. Some have said that they will no longer support the club while Mackay is in charge and I can fully sympathise with that point of view. It is right that Mackay should face some punishment by the FA for his offensive behaviour. It is likely that this could involve a fine, attendance on a training programme, or a short-term ban.
In an interview with the BBC Mackay said that he understands that he has to explain himself. He admits that the texts were unacceptable and inappropriate and apologised for the offence caused. He understands that it should not have happened but states that he is not racist, sexist, homophobic or an anti-Semite.
He has subsequently gone on to say, “I am very respectful of the FA investigation…” and acknowledges the need for transparency going forward. “I have apologised for my mistakes.”
With regard to the FA investigation he said: “When it comes to the time to talk then we do that. I’m a big man and take what comes from that.”
He admitted that he has taken on an educational programme about diversity and that this will be ongoing.
Mackay added, “I would ask people to judge me as they see me. I have made a mistake. I hope going forward the people of Wigan see me as I am.”
This apology may not be enough for some Wigan fans, but I believe he should be
allowed to get another job in football. Mackay lost out on the opportunity to manage in the Premier League at Crystal Palace when his texts were exposed. But should he be prevented from working again? I think not, having apologised and admitted his mistake he deserves another chance.
High profile players such as John Terry, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand and Luis Suarez have all been allowed to return to football after racist or offensive remarks following their punishment. So it would seem unfair to deny Mackay the opportunity to work again.
I believe that everyone makes mistakes in life and that everyone deserves a second chance. We have to hope that Whelan has made the right decision; that Mackay has learned from his mistakes and that he repays the faith entrusted in him by the club.
This article was first published in the 12th Man column for the Wigan Evening Post on Friday 21st November 2014.