David Moyes apologises over 'slap' threat to female reporter

Ross Houston
April 5, 2017

Sunderland boss David Moyes will be asked by the Football Association to explain himself after telling a BBC reporter she might "get a slap".

The Scotsman's comment towards Vicki Sparks caused outrage, with the likes of Gary Lineker, numerous politicians and domestic abuse charities all condemning his actions.

Thinking the camera and microphone were off following an interview after a 0-0 draw with Burnley, Moyes ticked Sparks off for asking an awkward question and said: "You still might get a slap even though you're a woman". Once the interview was over and Moyes apparently thought he was no longer being recorded, he apparently threatened to slap Sparks and warned, "careful the next time you come in".

'In the heat of the moment, I made a mistake in my comment to a BBC reporter which I profoundly regret.

Sunderland regard Moyes' actions as unacceptable, but feel the matter was adequately dealt with when the Scotsman contacted Sparks in person to express his regret.

You say it's tough at the top, it is so tougher at the bottom and, not making excuses for David Moyes here, but the pressure he is under is enormous.

He said that he had been supportive of women's football at the clubs he had managed, although Sunderland's women's team was recently downgraded to part-time status as part of budget cuts made in anticipation of the men's team being relegated.

Ahead of last night's game, the Black Cats issued a statement confirming their position on the matter and offering their continued backing to Moyes.

It is understood Moyes later apologised during a telephone conversation.

He may yet face action from the FA, but in the meantime, he will concentrate on the task of trying to drag the club from the foot of the Premier League table - they travel to champions Leicester on Tuesday evening.

The FA has written to Sunderland to request Moyes's observations on his remarks and is expecting a reply this week before deciding what action to take, if any.

"I spoke to the BBC reporter who accepted my apology and hopefully we all move on". Sometimes these things happen in the heat of the moment.

"We are always being told that everyone involved in football is an ambassador".

The controversy has shone an uncomfortable spotlight on relations between top-flight football clubs and the media organisations that cover them.

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