Sky Sports forced to apologise for ‘insensitive and regrettable’ comments during Premier League clash


SKY SPORTS have apologised for an “insensitive” comment made about Sean Dyche during live coverage of Aston Villa’s win over Everton.

Toffees boss Dyche, 52, was wearing a black armband in memory of supporter Michael Jones – who recently passed away at the age of 26 while working on the construction of Everton‘s new stadium.

AFPSky Sports have issued an apology for the ‘insensitive’ comment[/caption]

But commentary duo Bill Leslie and Andy Hinchcliffe have forced Sky Sports to apologise after they said he looked like a “croupier” – a casino worker.

A statement sent to The Athletic read: “Comments made during the Aston Villa v Everton game were insensitive and regrettable.

“We have spoken to everyone involved in the coverage including both the commentators and have reminded them of their responsibilities and the need for care and sensitivity.

“We apologise for any upset or distress caused by these comments.”

Both commentators are also understood to have expressed “regret” at their actions.

Along with Dyche, the rest of his backroom staff and the Everton players all wore black armbands in honour of Jones.

A minute’s applause was also observed by both Aston Villa and Everton fans in the 26th minute at Villa Park.

They also paid tribute to Jones at Anfield where Liverpool were hosting Bournemouth.

Leslie and Hinchcliffe’s comments attracted widespread backlash on social media.

One person said: “Hi @SkySports can I ask why your commentators thought it was acceptable to make a joke about Sean Dyche wearing a black armband?

“If they’re so desperate for material can I suggest they get some training?

“Oh and apologise [to] the family of the young man being remembered. Disgusting.”

While another added: “Why do @SkySports commentators think it’s OK to make several croupier/gambling jokes on Sean Dyche appearance based on his black armband.”

And a third replied: “Offensive and in poor taste. @Everton should make a point of it. Very poor behaviour.”

Everton have lost their opening two games of the season, following up a 1-0 defeat at home to Fulham with a 4-0 loss at Villa on Sunday.

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