Defender Clarke Carlise played for 10 clubs in a 16 year professional soccer career, but none of his experiences on the pitch prepared him properly for the horror of booking the wrong comedian at an awards ceremony. In excepts from his forthcoming book, ‘You Don’t Know Me, But…A Footballer’s Life’, the current PFA chairman and an outspoken ambassador for the Kick It Out anti-racism campaign, has harsh words for a number of his country’s professionals, but some of his most stark criticism is saved for comedian Reginald D. Hunter (above), the hired entertainment at last April’s PFA Awards Dinner. From Monday’s Daily Mail :
Imagine my horror when he delivered the opening line: ‘Luis Suarez? He a ni**er!’ I broke into an instant sweat. Did he really just use that word? Oh yes, and he used it again and again.
When he realised he was struggling, he changed tack. ‘What about the Jews?’ he said. I was already sinking into my chair, but with FA chairman David Bernstein sitting next to me, I almost disappeared under the table. Still he wasn’t finished.
His next topic was having sex with white women. Kill me now. Just finish me off and put me out of my misery. Sweat was pouring down my face by the time he finished, and I wanted to apologise to everyone in the room, to the whole world, in fact.
I mean, who in their right mind books Reginald D Hunter for an occasion like this? What were we thinking of? The rest of the evening passed without incident, but the damage had been done. And it was critical damage. Mr Hunter decided to ignore our briefing and stick to his normal routine, adding we had lost our ‘sense of irony’ at the PFA.
That’s not quite how I saw it. For me, it was an unmitigated disaster, the worst awards ceremony I’ve been to and the most embarrassing I’ve had the misfortune to chair.