Less than a week after Paul Scholes was criticised for a remark made during Manchester United’s Champions League win over Benfica, Rio Ferdinand has stirred up fresh concerns over homophobia in football by calling Chris Moyles (above) a “faggot” live on air.
Moyles, who has been in hot water himself in the past for swearing during live broadcasts, was given the rebuke during a light-hearted exchange on his BBC Radio 1 breakfast show. He had been questioning the defender about who he thought was most attractive out of his Manchester United team-mates – Alan Smith and Paul Scholes.
Referring to the two players’ nicknames, Moyles had said: “If you had to, who would you rather go out with – Smudger or Scholesy?” Ferdinand replied: “That is not my bag that, that is not my game, talking about going out with geezers.”
But when Moyles, a Leeds United fan, jokingly declared that he would always prefer Smith, an ex-Leeds player, Ferdinand said: “You’re a faggot.” As others in the studio expressed shock, the England defender said: “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m not homophobic.”
Moyles said “you can’t say that” before joking that the comment was “footballing terminology for a funny lad”.
The conversation had started with Ferdinand defending his England team-mate Peter Crouch after Moyles cast doubts over the Liverpool player’s looks. “He is a half decent-looking geezer,” said Ferdinand. “I am not feminine or gay in any way but he is not ugly and a few birds like him.” But as Moyles pushed for more from Ferdinand, the player quipped: “I don’t want to start talking about going out with players. Let’s move on.”
Persons with medium-length memories will recall this past June, the BBC Board Of Governors ruled that Moyles’ use of the word “gay” as a pejorative did not constitute a homophobic slur.
Moyles earns £630,000 in license-payers’ dough while hosting a moronic morning program that makes the Greaseman seem like Lenny Bruce by comparison.