Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard have both spoken out to publicly condemn antisemitism after an image of the two with rapper Wiley has been circulating online.
The Manchester United and England pair were photographed with the 43-year-old grime artist in an image which is thought to have been taken on Sunday in Dubai, where Wiley has been performing and a number of England footballers are currently on holiday.
Wiley – whose real name is Richard Kylea Cowie, and is often labelled the ‘Godfather of Grime’ – was one of the most well-known and successful artists on the UK grime scene since the turn of the century, but was notably dropped by his management back in 2020 after making a number of offensive and antisemitic comments during rants on social media.
The rapper has been banned from Twitter and Instagram multiple times for his remarks.
Following the circulation of the image on social media this week, Rashford and Lingard have both issued statements condemning the rapper’s previous comments.
They have insisted they do not support Wiley or his beliefs.
24-year-old Rashford said in his statement on Twitter yesterday: “This picture has been brought to my attention which I understand now, given context, could easily be misconstrued. I would like to reinforce that I do not and will not condone discriminative language or behaviour of any kind aimed at the Jewish community or any other community.
“I truly believe that tackling antisemitism in and outside of the game requires a greater level of attention and should very much form part of the game’s anti-racism stance.”
When further questioned on Twitter by a Jewish journalist about the context of the picture as this was “not explained in [his] statement”, Rashford responded that he “wasn’t aware” of Wiley’s comments at the time the photo was taken.
“I wasn’t aware of comments that had been made when I got pulled into a photo opportunity. Comments that I absolutely condemn [and] I apologise for any upset caused,” he said.
“We just all happened to be in the same place at the same time.”
Jesse Lingard also took to Twitter to speak out after the picture was seen circulating.
The 29-year-old said: “I’ve been made aware of a photo circulating currently, that can easily be misconstrued.
“I want to make it clear that I do not condone any form of racism whatsoever.”
Back in July 2020, shortly after the rapper made several offensive comments against Jewish people on social media, Wiley did an interview with Sky News about such antisemitic beliefs, where he refused to distance himself from them, and claimed the comments were aimed at his Jewish manager.
“My comments should not have been directed to all Jews or Jewish people,” he said.
“I want to apologise for generalising, and I want to apologise for comments that were looked at as antisemitic.”
Sky News was strongly criticised for giving the rapper a platform to explain himself.
Featured Image – Instagram (@manchesterunited | @jesselingard)
The first bright yellow Bee Network bus has hit the streets of Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester residents will soon start to see bright yellow double decker buses travelling the region’s streets in the coming weeks.
With exactly six months to go before Greater Manchester “brings buses back under local control”, Mayor Andy Burnham has joined a number of other local leaders in unveiling the brand-new ‘Bee Network’ co-branded buses.
In what marks the biggest change to transport in Greater Manchester for almost 40 years, according to Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), bus operator Diamond – which currently runs services in Bolton – has teamed up with Go North West to run the first franchised services in Wigan, Bolton, and parts of Salford and Bury from September this year.
Diamond has agreed to start transforming their buses into Bee Network ones from this week, with more set to appear on the roads every month.
The first bright yellow double decker bus has now hit the streets of Bolton, and is serving the number 8 route – which connects Bolton and Manchester city centre via Farnworth and Salford.
As already announced by TfGM and Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), when franchising is officially introduced on 24 September 2023, 50 brand-new electric Bee Network buses will hit the streets on day one, alongside new ‘Euro VI’ vehicles, and dozens more co-branded buses from the existing fleet.
A further 50 electric buses will then be introduced onto the network in March 2024, which is when the second part of franchising starts.
All of the 270 new electric Bee Network buses will be fully accessible, with wheelchair bays, hearing induction loops, audio and visual announcement systems, and anti-slip flooring.
Mayor Andy Burnham said the first Bee Network bus entering service is “very much the start of our journey”, and added that the scheme will “ultimately deliver a greener, integrated and more inclusive transport system that will transform how people travel around our city-region.”
Transport Commissioner Vernon Everitt also called the first bus’s introduction onto the streets as “a further significant step” towards the integration of the Bee Network and the “transformation” of public transport and active travel in the region.
He continued: “From September we’ll also have dozens of new state-of-the-art buses serving passengers in Wigan, Bolton, and parts of Salford and Bury.
“These will be the first of many across Greater Manchester that will, alongside the new lower fares – which are already increasing ridership – and improvements to travel information, improve bus travel for everyone who lives and works here.”
Featured Image – TfGM
Stockport teacher filmed ‘throwing student to the floor’ after being kicked out of his lesson
A teacher at a school in Stockport appears to have been recorded throwing a student to the floor after kicking the child out of his lesson.
In the clip that began circulating on social media last week, a pupil from Harrytown Catholic High School can be seen being escorted out of a classroom by a teacher whose identity is yet to be released.
After an inaudible conversation takes place in the doorway as the student presumably tries to remain in the room, the teacher can then be seen grabbing the young student and pushing him out of the doorway.
Following a slight struggle, the teacher then seemingly pushes the child again, at which point he appears to fall to the ground and the video cuts out. The caption reads: “This is how teachers at Harrytown Stockport treat their pupils. Justice for Oliver”.
At this stage, it still remains unclear whether Oliver (whose age is yet to be confirmed) was intentionally thrown to the floor or simply fell following the momentum from the push.
Either way, it doesn’t look good and obviously hasn’t gone down well with students or their guardians
Harrytown is a secondary school in the Stockport village of Romiley, teaching children aged from 11-16, and was awarded ‘Good’ by Ofsted in its most recent rating. However, many parents now have found themselves in the comments slamming the institution.
One mother claimed that “a teacher pushed my child in that school, they denied it [and] my kids been out of school since”, with another alleging that “the girl that videoed it got excluded for 5 days”, adding that they went on to send it to Manchester Evening News.
Speaking of the MEN, as per a statement issued to the outlet, Interim Director of Children’s Services and Director of Education for Stockport Tim Bowman said: “We are aware of an incident that took place at the school and we are following all appropriate due processes. We cannot comment further at this time.”
As for the school itself, they also insist that they are aware of the video and are now investigating the situation but cannot provide any further information either.
Oliver’s family are also yet to issue any form of comment following the incident.