Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has issued a public apology after referring to German television pundit Dennis Aogo as “a token black guy” in a WhatsApp message.
Lehmann, 51, who played for the Gunners between 2003 and 2008 and represented Germany 61 times, took to Twitter to issue an apology to Aogo, a former Hamburg and Schalke player who now works for Sky Sports in Germany.
Lehmann wrote: “In a private message from my mobile phone to Dennis Aogo, an impression was created for which I apologised in conversation with Dennis.
In einer privaten Nachricht von meinem Handy an Dennis Aogo ist ein Eindruck entstanden für den ich mich im Gespräch mit Dennis entschuldigt habe. Als ehemaliger Nationalspieler ist er sehr fachkundig und hat eine tolle Präsenz und bringt bei Sky Quote.Advertisement
— Jens Lehmann (@jenslehmann) May 5, 2021
“As a former national team player he is very knowledgeable and has a great presence.”
Hertha Berlin have said Lehmann will no longer be part of their supervisory board following the WhatsApp message.
“Such statements in no way correspond to the values for which Hertha BSC stands and actively campaigns,” the club’s president Werner Gegenbauer said.
“We distance ourselves from any form of racism.”
Lehmann was part of the Arsenal ‘Invincibles’ side which went unbeaten throughout the 2003-04 Premier League campaign on their way to winning the title.