Under fire for his reluctance to condemn manager Malky McKay’s comments about the Chinese and Jews, Wigan F.C. chairman Dave Whelan (above, left) took to the pages of the Jewish Telegraph to, well, dig an even bigger hole for himself. From the JT’s Paul Harris :
Whelan, 77, the footballer-turned-millionaire businessman, who founded JJB Sports, said he encountered Jewish business people every day.
“We just respect them. They’re good businessmen, they fight for what they believe in and that is hard work, I’m telling you. They’re good workers.
“Take my apology because I would never, ever offend one of the Jewish people because I have nothing but the highest respect for them.”
“So many Jewish people go to Barbados at Christmas. That’s when I go. I see a lot of them in the Lone Star, in restaurants. I play golf with a few of them.
“I don’t want to mention any particular names because I don’t want to pull their names into it. It would be unfair of me because they are good friends. They may object to me putting them in a newspaper or in publicity or whatever.”
Denying that he had ever used the term ‘Chink’ to refer to Chinese people, Whelan told me: “When I was growing up we used to call the Chinese ‘chingalings’.
“We weren’t being disrespected (sic). We used to say, ‘we’re going to eat in chingalings’.
“The Chinese weren’t offended by that. That was the name everyone in Wigan called it [the first Chinese cafe in Wigan].”