Footballer Jason Lee accuses David Baddiel of a ‘whole new layer’ of racist abuse with blackface

Footballer Jason Lee accuses David Baddiel of a ‘whole new layer’ of racist abuse with blackface

Footballer Jason Lee accuses David Baddiel of inflicting a ‘whole new layer’ of racist abuse on him by ‘blacking out’ for ‘pineapple on the head’ sketches on the BBC’s Fantasy Football League in the 1960s 90

Footballer Jason Lee said David Baddiel doing blackface impersonating him on his 1990s show Football Fantasy League added ‘a whole new layer’ of racist abuse to what he had already experienced as a black player.

Former Nottingham Forest striker Lee, 51, said he was still suffering abuse 25 years after Baddiel’s sketches ridiculing him, including wearing a black face and a pineapple on his head.

The BBC show saw Baddiel and co-host Frank Skinner taunting footballers and managers, but Skinner has since admitted their repeated targeting of Lee amounted to “a campaign of intimidation”.

Former Nottingham Forest striker Jason Lee says he still faces abuse 25 years after sketches of Baddiel ridiculing him

Former Nottingham Forest striker Jason Lee says he still faces abuse 25 years after sketches of Baddiel ridiculing him

Lee told The Times Today: “Before Baddiel, I would get abuse for my skin color or ‘You’re not good enough’. I was desensitized to most of the abuse.

“But the situation with Baddiel was a whole new layer of abuse. Baddiel has turned black.

Lee said it was not just Baddiel who was at fault and the BBC should have intervened.

“So many people were complicit. BBC2. It’s sold, it’s popular, we all get paid. That works. He was not held responsible,” he said.

David Baddiel went blackface impersonating Jason Lee on his 1990s show Football Fantasy League

David Baddiel went blackface impersonating Jason Lee on his 1990s show Football Fantasy League

In addition to wearing a black face, Baddiel would portray Lee as an idiot and wear a pineapple on top of his head to mimic his hairstyle.

This led to football fans chanting “He’s got a pineapple on his head”, which Lee said meant he had to stop his family from attending games.

The player said the abuse had “traumatized” his children, adding: “Being a parent and watching your son go through this, going to a stadium and listening to people abuse your child must be difficult.”

It comes after Lee and Baddiel shared a chilling encounter as part of the Jewish comedian’s new Channel 4 documentary, Jews Don’t Matter, which explores anti-Semitism in society.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain last week, Baddiel said:

Speaking on Good Morning Britain last week, Baddiel said: “I shamefully impersonated Jason Lee in Blackface 25 years ago on Fantasy Football

Speaking on Good Morning Britain last week, Baddiel said: “I shamefully impersonated Jason Lee in Blackface 25 years ago on Fantasy Football, and I felt it was important, if I’m going to make a documentary about Jewish representation and minorities, that I should go meet Jason, apologize and talk to him,” he said.

“At the end of the conversation, he spoke passionately about how he would like to stand up for Jews and fight anti-Semitism in football.”

But Lee said that while the reunion was “long overdue”, he suspects the timing of it has something to do with Baddiel “having returned to the public eye”.

“I had never seen him before he came in,” he said. ‘Timing is everything. He’s back in the public eye… I completely understand that he used this situation mainly for the benefit of the documentary. To move forward, he had to remedy this situation.

The BBC show saw Baddiel and co-host Frank Skinner (centre) mock footballers and managers, but Skinner has since admitted their repeated targeting of Lee amounted to

The BBC show saw Baddiel and co-host Frank Skinner (centre) taunting footballers and managers, but Skinner has since admitted their repeated targeting of Lee amounted to ‘a campaign of intimidation’

‘With Baddiel, I wasn’t happy that you made me look like a clown, you’re trying to put down what I do, and I’m not going to let that happen…I’m not a clown. I was violated on so many levels in these sketches. I felt like I should get royalties, I was on that show so many times.

He continued, “They were basically saying I was s*** in the program. Then Baddiel comes in and tries to spin him around and say, “I knew you were a brilliant player, blah, blah, blah.”

“He’s very smart, but the way people process things in their minds is incredibly complex. He may not see the importance or relevance of blacking out, but he would fully understand what it feels like to be mistreated as a Jewish person. It’s happening to him now, the realization: this is how I feel, this is how Jason feels.

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