TV football pundit calls presenter/politician Sylvana Simons a monkey

Photo: Jasper Joosten via Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Jasper Joosten via Wikimedia Commons

Dutch football pundit Johan Derksen is again under fire for making racist remarks after saying that a black television presenter would be as ‘running around as a proud as an monkey’.

Sylvana Simons has been a lead campaigner for changes in the character of Zwarte Piet, Sinterklaas’ helper who is alway s played by a white person in blackface make up. On Monday, broadcaster RTL said it is replacing the blackface make up with flecks of soot.

Asked about the decision, Derksen said it was up to RTL to decide what to do. ‘The only disadvantage… is that hysterical Ms Simons will run around the country as proud as a little monkey,’ he said.

Warned by the presenter that he should have said ‘proud as a peacock’, Derksen said: ‘She does not look at all like a peacock.’

Earlier this year Derksen hit the headlines for saying Moroccan players are spoiling amateur football.

Derksen, 67, told television programme Voetbal Inside that some amateur clubs no longer function or are disappearing because their percentage of players with a Moroccan background is too high. ‘I will be dismissed as a racist but I really don’t give a damn,’ he told the show.

Update 16.30: Derksen apologised to Simons, saying he mixed up his metaphors and did not mean to insult her.

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