This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby were joined on the sofa by ex-footballer John Barnes to discuss the controversial comment
This Morning hosts Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby were joined on the sofa by ex-footballer John Barnes to discuss the controversial comments made by Hollywood actor Liam Neeson earlier this week.
Within the first few minutes of speaking, John confirmed: “I’m on his [Liam] side and I’m about to defend him.”
He then went on to hit out at Good Morning Britain hosts Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid.
Today, Piers said he disagreed with John’s defence of Liam: “I don’t think it deserves a medal. I’m sorry, if Liam Neeson had a moment of madness, a second, that’s one thing. But he spent a week… to kill. Not to hurt, to murder.”
Piers also added: “I’m amazed, that a very high profile, anti-racism campaigner like John Barnes would defend him. I find it extraordinary that he’s being defended.”
Responding to Piers’ remarks, John called the ITV host and Susanna “insulting and condescending”.
He continued: “Subliminally we all have negative views about different groups of people.
Phillip asked: “Were they planted by the media, do you say?”
“It is subliminal, because it’s not obvious, it’s not obvious,” the sportsman replied.
“It’s very similar to subliminally when Piers and Susanna were talking about ‘I know if I was black, how I would feel.’
“Which is, what they are actually saying is that ‘this is how you should feel’ and for me that it is insulting and condescending.
“There is no way Piers Morgan and Susanna could ever know what it was like to feel black or how they would react had they been black.”
John continued: “So for them to say ‘If I was black I would feel this way’, what they are actually doing is doing the exact same thing that they are accusing Liam Neeson of doing.
“They are accusing Liam Neeson of looking at one guilty black man and making everybody guilty.
“What they are actually saying by that, ‘this is the way black people should feel, because this is the way I would feel if I was black’, which is lumping all people, not individualising them by saying ‘you should feel this way’.
“Would I ever say to Piers Morgan, a white cameraman, a white working class man in the EastEnd and say ‘because you’re white, let’s all lump you together and say this is how you should feel because you’re white’?
“So they are doing the exact same thing,” he concluded. You can watch the full interview John did with This Morning here.
John was interviewed by Sky News yesterday to discuss Liam’s initial comments to The Independent, where spoke out in defence of the Hollywood actor.
The ex-footballer told Sky how he respected Liam for telling the truth about his feelings, and that “we are all unconscious racists” and then went onto explain how Liam’s views are a product of “what society has wrongly shown him, this is what the media have wrongly portrayed to him”.
You can read and watch the full interview John did with Sky News here.
This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am on weekdays and Sunday on ITV.