An entrepreneur who sparked a Lionesses race row after saying the squad ‘isn’t that diverse’ and filled with ‘blonde, blue-eyed’ stars admitted making mistakes today.
Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones MBE, who claims to be one of Britain’s only black commercial farmers, said the squad was ‘not representative’ of Britain.
But the comments, made during a discussion of the Sunday front pages on Sky News, fueled backlash online.
Stunned fans accused Mr Emmanuel-Jones MBE of being ‘racist’ himself and said they had complained to Ofcom.
This lunchtime he posted a strange video online, referring to making mistakes, but not mentioning the Lionesses by name.
Mr Emmanuel-Jones MBE – who calls himself The Black Farmer – said: ‘How do you know if you are living your life to a max? There’s a very, very simple measurement: the number of mistakes that you make.
Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones MBE, who claims to be one of Britain’s only black commercial farmers, said the squad was ‘not representative’ of Britain
‘If you are living a life thinking that the whole purpose in life is not to make mistakes you are absolutely wrong.
‘The only way to know if you are living life to the full is by the number of mistakes that you make because mistakes are the great teacher in life.
‘But make sure that you actually learn from those mistakes.’
‘After his original comments Mr Emmanuel-Jones MBE was criticised for not accepting that the ‘best players’ were chosen.
‘I don’t want to pour boiling water on it but it isn’t that diverse’, the farmer said, describing the front page of the Daily Mirror – which featured a host of England stars on its cover.
England Manager, Sarina Wiegman, comforts England’s Lauren James (left) following their defeat in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final match at Stadium Australia
‘It really sticks out at you. They look blonde and blue-eyed. If it was the men’s World Cup it would be very representative of the Britain that we’re in and very, very diverse.
‘What jumps out at you is that this doesn’t represent diverse Britain. It’s all these blonde, blue-eyed girls – and I wish them well – but I do think we need to ask ourselves questions about why it is that there is a lack of diversity.’
He continued: ‘If you could have the men’s team which is very very diverse, why doesn’t that translate to the women’s team?’
But the comments made by the entrepreneur triggered furious reactions on social media.
Chris Rose tweeted: ‘It’s disappointing but predictable to see comments like this about the Women’s England team.
‘Could it not be possible that the best have been chosen? Other countries have football teams with similar levels of diversity but aren’t criticised for it.’
Another added: ‘Disgusting racist rhetoric. You choose sports teams based on SKILL not on skin color. If you pick players based on skin color, YOU ARE RACIST.’
While a third person tweeted: ‘Oh god! Please! Teams are based on talent not color!’
The entrepreneur set up the Black Farmer Scholarship, which aims to help and encourage ethnic minorities to work in the rural community – an under-represented area. He was appointed an MBE in 2020 for his services to British farming.
The entrepreneur set up the Black Farmer Scholarship, which aims to help and encourage ethnic minorities to work in the rural community – an under-represented area. He was appointed an MBE in 2020 for his services to British farming
The comments triggered a furious backlash on social media, with people blasting Mr Jones
Mr Emmanuel-Jones’s comments came before England were defeated by Spain 1-0 in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday.
As the match began, there were jubilant scenes as England’s Lauren Hemp’s stunning shot almost netted the first goal of the match, clipping the crossbar instead.
But moments later, it was horror for the Lionesses as Spain scored the opener, while England fans groaned at the goal.
Then, despite a determined fightback by the Lionesses, it was followed by heartbreak as the final whistle came, signalling the end to England’s hopes of World Cup Glory.