MacKenzie's Barkley article 'racist and prehistoric'

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Ross Barkley has been at Everton since 2005

The mayor of Liverpool has condemned a newspaper article about Everton midfielder Ross Barkley as “racist and prehistoric”.

Barkley, 23, was punched in a Liverpool bar last weekend in what his lawyer described as an “unprovoked attack”.

Sun columnist, and former editor, Kelvin MacKenzie has compared Barkley to a “gorilla at the zoo”.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said he has reported the article to the police for a “racial slur”.

One of Barkley’s grandfathers was born in Nigeria.

In Friday’s article, MacKenzie targets both England international Barkley and the city of Liverpool, saying:

  • Barkley is “one of our dimmest footballers”, also calling him “thick”.
  • Barkley’s eyes make him “certain not only are the lights not on, there is definitely nobody at home”, adding: “I get a similar feeling when seeing a gorilla at the zoo.”
  • Men with similar “pay packets” in Liverpool are “drug dealers” and in prison.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Anderson said: “Not only is it racist in a sense that he is of mixed-race descent, equally it’s a racial stereotype of Liverpool. It is racist and prehistoric.”

Anderson later tweeted