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Hodgson Apologises Over Space Monkey Joke

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http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/10/17/uk-soccer-england-hodgson-idUKBRE99G0BJ20131017

Hodgson was reported to have used the "feed the monkey" punchline from an old NASA joke when instructing right back Chris Smalling to pass the ball to livewire midfielder Andros Townsend.

The joke in question came about during the early days of space travel when NASA sent monkeys into space before manned missions. A bored astronaut, tired of the monkey being given all the tasks by mission control asks "When do I get to do something," and was told "In 15, minutes -- feed the monkey."

Hodgson used the joke to emphasise that getting the ball early to Tottenham Hotspur dangerman Townsend, England's most effective player in the first half, was their priority.

However, it was apparently lost on some of his players who were reportedly "offended", according to British newspapers, leading Hodgson to apologise.

An ill judged generational comment? Is the press blowing up a non-existent story?

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Another non story blown up by the Press just to sell newspapers.

'Excuse me Mr Footballer, were you offended by the remark?'

'Er, um, well, like yes I er um.'

We call my granddaughter a 'Chunky Monkey'

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Faux outrage.

Faux poisonous spiders on R2 today, yesterday, the question was genuinely asked, how do we make driving safer with all these deer about?..If there is no news, make something up.

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Another non story blown up by the Press just to sell newspapers.

'Excuse me Mr Footballer, were you offended by the remark?'

'Er, um, well, like yes I er um.'

We call my granddaughter a 'Chunky Monkey'

Yep. Its like those polls which re-phrase the same question two different ways. 90% will agree with it phrased one way, 90% disagree the other way.

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I'm not sure I even understand the joke - or its relevance to a football game.

It seems as if, in its original NASA use, when an astronaut (who may have considered himself more important than the monkey) asked, 'When do I get to do something [rather than the monkey doing all the important stuff]?' the reply came, 'In 15 minutes--you can feed the monkey.'

Perhaps the manager was simply making the point that, however important you think your role is, the main objective is to keep the 'livewire' midfielder Andros Townsend 'fed'.

So, nothing to do with monkeys (really).

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Guest eight

It seems as if, in its original NASA use, when an astronaut (who may have considered himself more important than the monkey) asked, 'When do I get to do something [rather than the monkey doing all the important stuff]?' the reply came, 'In 15 minutes--you can feed the monkey.'

Perhaps the manager was simply making the point that, however important you think your role is, the main objective is to keep the 'livewire' midfielder Andros Townsend 'fed'.

So, nothing to do with monkeys (really).

Remember Shaun Goater and the "Feed the Goat" mantra? And later, Yakubu Ayegbeni and "Feed the Yak"?

Presumably yaks and goats have no racist connotations and are therefore OK.

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Remember Shaun Goater and the "Feed the Goat" mantra? And later, Yakubu Ayegbeni and "Feed the Yak"?

Presumably yaks and goats have no racist connotations and are therefore OK.

I just Google for a picture of Andros Townsend (because I didn't know anything about him), but he doesn't appear to be black.

Am I missing something?

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It seems as if, in its original NASA use, when an astronaut (who may have considered himself more important than the monkey) asked, 'When do I get to do something [rather than the monkey doing all the important stuff]?' the reply came, 'In 15 minutes--you can feed the monkey.'

Perhaps the manager was simply making the point that, however important you think your role is, the main objective is to keep the 'livewire' midfielder Andros Townsend 'fed'.

So, nothing to do with monkeys (really).

No - and not a very good joke either!

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Guest eight

I just Google for a picture of Andros Townsend (because I didn't know anything about him), but he doesn't appear to be black.

Am I missing something?

I think he could be described as very mixed race. Part Cypriot I think? Great player though, a real livewire, just what we need. I really hope he wasn't honestly offended. It's not like there was any malice involved.

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No - and not a very good joke either!

I don't think it was (or was intended to be) a joke from my (albeit brief) reading. I think 'joke' is a knee-jerk kind of defence from someone who is unsure of their ground.

In a way, the manager might've been better off just telling whoever raised the non-issue to zark off. If their ignorance leads them to assume some kind of racism, then it should be seen as the other party's fault and problem.

A bit like that hoo-hah over the US official who (if memory serves) was compelled to resign over his use of the word 'niggardly'.

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I don't think it was (or was intended to be) a joke from my (albeit brief) reading. I think 'joke' is a knee-jerk kind of defence from someone who is unsure of their ground.

In a way, the manager might've been better off just telling whoever raised the non-issue to zark off. If their ignorance leads them to assume some kind of racism, then it should be seen as the other party's fault and problem.

A bit like that hoo-hah over the US official who (if memory serves) was compelled to resign over his use of the word 'niggardly'.

technically, it is now a Hate Incident as defined in UK Law.

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technically, it is now a Hate Incident as defined in UK Law.

Can you be specific? What exactly in this instance is the 'hate incident'?

I can't see any fundamental difference between someone completely misunderstanding the monkey analogy that the manager used, and someone not knowing what 'niggardly' means. In both cases, a recipient's offence is based on their ignorance and doesn't make any rational sense.

(This is in additional the whole notion of offence being a voluntary act on the part of the so-called recipient, meaning that--assuming free will--that they could simply choose not to bother being offended. "Sticks and stones, love," to quote a roguishly lovable pirate. :D )

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Can you be specific? What exactly in this instance is the 'hate incident'?

I can't see any fundamental difference between someone completely misunderstanding the monkey analogy that the manager used, and someone not knowing what 'niggardly' means. In both cases, a recipient's offence is based on their ignorance and doesn't make any rational sense.

(This is in additional the whole notion of offence being a voluntary act on the part of the so-called recipient, meaning that--assuming free will--that they could simply choose not to bother being offended. "Sticks and stones, love," to quote a roguishly lovable pirate. :D )

Definition of hate crime The Association of Chief Police Officers distinguishes between a hate incident and a hate crime. A hate incident is:

“Any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.”

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Definition of hate crime The Association of Chief Police Officers distinguishes between a hate incident and a hate crime. A hate incident is:

“Any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.”

I'm astonished, but at the same time not.

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I really hate being so contraire, but Andros Townsend looks very black to me. And for a manager to say "feed the monkey" while referring to Townsend was so risky it's frankly hilarious. Are some of these football managers from a parallel universe or something?? Obviously it could be taken the wrong way, because not many people are familiar with the NASA origin. I certainly wasn't.

Here's a joke of my own for you.....

"What's even stupider than a professional footballer?"

"A football manager of course!"

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As I understand it this was said in the changing room ( at half time?).

So, in the unlikely scenario that a reporter was present, the story has come from a player or training staff.

Points to a real solid united dressing room for Brazil? :rolleyes:

Is this the first sign of unrest? they haven't got on the plane yet.

I expect this to develop and go the way of other 'player power' incidents.

Team loses all games and manager sacked. Press get a few weeks coverage out of it, until they find a new target.

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If Roy Hodgson ever does a stand up comedy show, I'll probably give it a miss.

If he was racist, why did he pick a team in which indiginous white people were so under-represented?

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I really hate being so contraire, but Andros Townsend looks very black to me. And for a manager to say "feed the monkey" while referring to Townsend was so risky it's frankly hilarious. Are some of these football managers from a parallel universe or something?? Obviously it could be taken the wrong way, because not many people are familiar with the NASA origin. I certainly wasn't.

Here's a joke of my own for you.....

"What's even stupider than a professional footballer?"

"A football manager of course!"

This s just silly PC sensitivity...if the player was Gary Linekar, no-one would have batted an eyelid...THATS the real outrage.

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I really hate being so contraire, but Andros Townsend looks very black to me. And for a manager to say "feed the monkey" while referring to Townsend was so risky it's frankly hilarious. Are some of these football managers from a parallel universe or something?? Obviously it could be taken the wrong way, because not many people are familiar with the NASA origin. I certainly wasn't.

Here's a joke of my own for you.....

"What's even stupider than a professional footballer?"

"A football manager of course!"

Back in the day, racism was pretty obvious stuff. Posting dog turd through letter boxes. Physical and verbal abuse. Blatant discrimination.

As thankfully racism has declined and is often baffling to younger generations the race industry has had to expand their remit into thought policing to justify their existence. To them, everyone is a racist just waiting to be exposed. A slip or the tongue, or not having a Phd in PC places anyone at risk.

Now, I'm aware that comparing blacks to monkeys has a history. But I'm also aware some people would be so un-rascist that they would forget that there's a cultural sensitivity around this. It's a complete non-issue. It'd be like, in a moment of colour-blindness, calling a mixed race kid a 'cheeky monkey' - it might have just have easily been a white kid. There's no racial overtone meant.

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Guest eight

This s just silly PC sensitivity...if the player was Gary Linekar, no-one would have batted an eyelid...THATS the real outrage.

The would if he'd said "pass it to the namby-pamby jug-eared crisp munching goalhanger" though.

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