The Sun has finally printed an apology to Ross Barkley after Kelvin Mackenzie's disgraceful attack on the Everton midfielder in one of his columns. However, it's been pointed out that the newspaper may not have been entirely transparent in the statement.
The controversial journalist has since been suspended by the publication after comparing Barkley, whose grandfather is Nigerian, to a gorilla - with the Sun claiming that they were unaware of his background in their apology.
"Perhaps unfairly, I have always judged Ross Barkley as one of our dimmest footballers. There is something about the lack of reflection in his eyes which makes me certain not only are the lights not on, there is definitely nobody at home.
"I get a similar feeling when seeing a gorilla at the zoo. The physique is magnificent but it’s the eyes that tell the story."
However, for all of the Sun's hand-wringing in their apology, they failed to notice that they themselves ran a story back in 2014...in which they mentioned the Everton and England midfielder's Nigerian heritage.
Incompetence? Deliberate misleading of readers? Insincerity? All of the above? It's impossible to tell - but it's unlikely that the club are going to lift their ban on the newspaper's reporters any time soon.
The Sun apologise to Ross Barkley by lying that they didn't know his about heritage - when they had previously reported his heritage pic.twitter.com/jV9rhBAXf3
— Joe Public (@jpublik)
April 22, 2017