Sports writer for Britain’s biggest tabloid under fire for branding people of China ‘lazy’ in article about Chinese Super League
Sun reporter receives flak on social media for ‘bigoted generalisations’
A reporter for the Sun, Britain’s most popular newspaper, has come under fire after publishing an ‘investigation’ into the Chinese Super League in which he branded China’s populace as lazy.
Justin Allen visited Shanghai and Changchun and wrote an article in which he was highly critical of China’s big-spending football league – and the people of the country.
Allen wrote: “The Chinese come across as lazy generally – surely a by-product of a communist regime that has ruled their land since 1949.
“For years, their government has done and thought everything for them. Only here have I seen people shamelessly sleeping on the job ... like two workers at an airport help desk in the city of Changchun in the middle of the afternoon in full view of passengers.”
Allen added: “[Brazilian star] Hulk would probably get away with driving one along the pavements here as it is a daily hazard for pedestrians to avoid being hit by mopeds speeding along pathways.
“But even that is not as shocking as hearing people clearing their throats from the pollution by spitting into the street.”
The article drew criticism on social media, including from prominent New York Times chief soccer correspondent Rory Smith, and was swiftly amended online.
3. I don't want to nitpick, but I think this might be a bit of a generalisation. pic.twitter.com/gwYKl1GGm8
— Rory Smith (@RorySmith) October 5, 2016
It now appears to have been removed from prominence on the Sun’s website, but was still online.
After coming under fire on Twitter, Allen said it was a “pity” Smith had decided to “belittle” his work.
“Borderline racist, completely stereotypical bulls***,” said one of Allen's critics on the site.
“Glad someone in the press spoke up,” said another. “Actually thought it was a parody piece at first. Shocking.”
Another joked: “I guess Murdoch’s still pi$$$ed at Wendy Deng”.
The owner of the Sun, Rupert Murdoch, was divorced from his Chinese wife Wendi in 2013.
— Navjit Dosanjh (@dosanjh1) October 5, 2016
The Sun writer hit back at some of his critics, insisting “what’s written is accurate”, but later deleted his replies.
He later tweeted: “Lazy journalism? Wonder how many saying that have spoken privately to players, coaches, agents & been to Chinese games #bandwagon #trolls”
— Justin Allen (@justinallen1976) October 5, 2016
Ironically, Allen was also plugging an interview with a campaigner from anti-racism charity Kick It Out further down his timeline.
Though Britain’s most popular paper by circulation, the tabloid Sun is hated by many in the United Kingdom for its politics.
It has recently been an ardent supporter of Brexit and has been accused of stoking anti-immigrant feeling in the country.