The homophobic 'p***' jokes and sexism which caused women to walk out of Scottish Football Awards

Bill Copeland, a former criminal lawyer, is accused of making a series of derogatory remarks about women, homosexuality and Japanese footballers

Published

The ex-barrister that prompted a walkout at a Scottish Football awards ceremony after alleged "sexist, racist and homophobic" jokes declared women from Paisley give men STDs, it was claimed today.

Bill Copeland, a former criminal lawyer, is accused of making a series of derogatory remarks about women, homosexuality and Japanese footballers at the Scottish Football Writers' Association (SFWA) awards on Sunday night.

The awards night garnered a great deal of star appeal, with ex-Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson among those in attendance, as he collected the SFWA's Lifetime Achievement award.

Guests who were present at the ceremony claim Copeland used the word "p**f" while joking about his own father being homophobic.

Eilidh Barber walked out of the event following the alleged derogatory remarks.
Eilidh Barber walked out of the event following the alleged derogatory remarks.

They also say he used the word "n*p," allegedly in relation to Celtic signing three Japanese players in January.

BBC Sport presenter Eilidh Barber, who walked out of the event, told the Telegraph about a jibe relating to a tanning brand: "There were comments about the room smelling of 'fake bake'

"Women who wanted to go and touch up their make-up were told that Alex Salmond had been spotted in the foyer and that he would love to do it.

'There were comments about how a man knew if he had f***** a woman from Paisley because his d*** would start to itch. After I left, there was a slew of homophobic and racist comments.''

A representative for Mr Copeland the SFWA have apologised for any offence caused following a backlash to the comments.

The ex-lawyer was also dropped as an after-dinner speaker by his agency.

Sir Alex Ferguson was among those present at the awards ceremony.
Sir Alex Ferguson was among those present at the awards ceremony.

Kick it Out and Women in Football also released a joint statement, condemning the comments made in the speech, saying the SFWA Awards night "should not be used as a platform to share derogatory and discriminatory comments and make those groups and communities feel excluded and insulted".

Following the awards, Barbour said: "Never felt so unwelcome in the industry I work in than sitting at the Scottish Football Writers Awards."

Kick it Out and Women in Football said in their joint statement: "We have been made aware of sexist, racist and homophobic remarks made at the Scottish Football Writers' Awards last night, during an after-dinner speech.

"Women face sexism and misogyny in society, and this is often exacerbated when they play a role in football and other sports - whether they're a player, a pundit or a fan. That must change.

"Racism and homophobia continue to be a stain on the game, and we must continue to challenge it and eradicate it. There is no place for any form of discrimination, in sport or anywhere else.

"Events that celebrate talent in our game should be a time to focus on the positives and all the people who have played their part in pushing football forward.

"It should not be used as a platform to share derogatory and discriminatory comments and make groups and communities feel excluded and insulted. We expect better and we demand better.

"The fact we have been made aware by those in attendance that they felt unwelcome in an industry they work in is unacceptable, and we stand with them.

"We acknowledge the apology issued by the Scottish Football Writers' Association and look forward to their promised review of future events. In the meantime we will be reaching out to understand the full details and offer our support to those affected."