Ronnie and I discussed this on Twitter within minutes, then I stuck it up for folk to have a look at on my Facebook page. The discussions have slowly been spreading round the net. On Match of the Day 2 last night former West Ham and Charlton gaffer Alan Pardew described a piece of play by Chelsea's Michael Essien by saying "He absolutely rapes him there."
I froze when I heard it and thought, 'He didn't just say 'rapes him' did he? 'Rakes him' mibbie? But slowly it seems football fans throughout the country have been thinking the same thing. 'I didn't imagine that did I? He did say it. He did.'
It's already on his Wikipedia page, although since the content there will no doubt be amended soon I'll just quote from it here.
" * In March 2009, on Match of the Day 2 Pardew stated that Chelsea F.C. midfielder Michael Essien "absolutely rapes" Manchester City player Ched Evans during a midfield tussle, Essien has since gone AWOL since the accusation was made leading many people to believe the claims were probably true.
The BBC after terminating his contact announce that they will be replacing him on MOTD2 with Ron Atkinson."
Some folk are insisting it's just a saying, although I go to a lot of football matches and I've never heard anyone say it (and at a Clydebank game several years ago I once heard a guy loudly instruct a player that the best way to deal with an opponent would be to "Pish in his mooth.")
The guys on football programmes talk a lot of rubbish for the most part and the basic rule that will keep you coming back on these shows is just knowning not to swear on air. Or make racist remarks, or, you would imagine, not to make casual comments about rape.
I'm not making any call for him to be removed from telly. (Although since there's hunners of ex-pros out there, maybe someone else could have a crack at it) I just thought it was a ridiculous thing to have said.
I'm sure we'll hear more about it in the days to come.
With the wonders of the internet, footage was up on YouTube in about 15 minutes. (Ignore the chatter from the two guys who've filmed it, as it's frankly more offensive than Pardew, but they're not being paid to sit and talk about football on BBC 2.)