Jamie Carragher has been suspended by Sky Sports for the rest of the season after spitting at a father and his 14-year-old daughter while driving.
The incident occurred after Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Liverpool on Saturday, where Carragher had been a pundit. He claims he was goaded by a fan while both were driving on the motorway and reacted by winding down his window and spitting at the adjacent car.
His spit hit the fan – who was filming the incident on his phone while driving – and his 14-year-old daughter who was sat in the back.
On Wednesday Sky announced the former Liverpool and England defender will be suspended from his duties as a football pundit for the rest of the season. A review will take place prior to the beginning of next season to establish whether Carragher is fit to return.
A statement from Sky read: “Jamie has taken full responsibility for what has happened and we will ensure he gets the help he needs to guarantee something like this never happens again. Before the start of the next season we will sit down with Jamie to discuss whether he is ready to return to his role.”
Carragher rang the family to apologise the next day and has shown plenty of remorse for this actions in a moment of madness that could define his broadcasting career. “Hopefully I’m judged not right now but over a longer period of time,” the 40-year-old said to the BBC. “Hopefully I’m given the opportunity to show people the real me, who they’ve seen for the last 20 years or so.”
“It looks awful and I accept that. It’s not something I’ve done before and not something I’ll do again. It’s a stain on my character and I have to accept that.”
“If I was watching someone do that, I’d be commenting or tweeting about it myself. There’s not a person in the world who can condone spitting no matter what’s gone on. I knew there was someone else in the car, and I knew it was a female, but I didn’t know it was a young girl.
“When I lost it, my rage was focused on the man across me with a camera in his hand, but no matter what he was doing my reaction was unacceptable.”
He added: “I’m in no position to question or disagree if someone wants to have a pop or the police want to speak to me. I’ve done a bad thing and have to accept whatever comes my way.
“I’m upset for them, my family and everyone involved. It’s been something we all could have done without but all I can do now is apologise.”
“They will be aware of the media storm,” he said. “I’ve let my family down but I’ve let the family in the car opposite me down. They’re my main worry for yesterday and today. That family won’t be used to the media storm and being dragged into it.
“I got in touch with them last night and today is about going public and apologising to the family and the public watching who were offended and rightly so. They’re disappointed I’ve dragged their name through the mud. That’s not what they’re about and I’ve let them down big time. I love my job and would love the opportunity to stay.”
The family involved have since accepted Carragher’s apology and said they do not want him sacked from his job as a Sky pundit and co-commentator. “He seems contrite,” said the young girl’s father. “Everyone makes mistakes, we are all human.
“We don’t want him to lose his job. It is not about that. We wanted an apology and explanation. I don’t want him to lose his job. I enjoy listening to him, even though he is an ex-Liverpool player.”