Former Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has been sacked by Hertha Berlin after he called former Germany international Dennis Aogo a ‘token black guy’ in a WhatsApp message.
Aogo, who made 12 appearances for Germany and played in the Bundesliga for Hamburg, Schalke and Stuttgart, currently works as a pundit for Sky Germany after retiring last August.
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The 34-year-old was working during Manchester City’s Champions League win over Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday evening when he received a message from Lehmann which read: ‘Is Dennis actually your token black guy?’
Aogo posted a screenshot of the message on his Instagram account and tagged Lehmann with the caption: ‘WOW, are you serious? This message wasn’t supposed to go to me I guess.’
Lehmann, who ended his playing career in 2011, has now been sacked by Hertha Berlin as a member of their supervisory board.
Hertha Berlin president Werner Gegenbauer said on Wednesday: ‘Such statements in no way correspond to the values for which Hertha BSC stands and actively campaigns. Hertha BSC distances itself from any form of racism.’
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Lehmann, who made 200 appearances for Arsenal, says he has issued a private apology to Aogo for the message and claims what he sent ‘was not meant that way at all’.
‘I have already spoken to Dennis on the phone and asked him to forgive me if my statement came across as disrespectful,’ Lehmann said in his explanation to Bild.
‘It was not meant that way at all, but in a positive way. As a Sky expert, he is knowledgeable and very strong in his appearance. And therefore also increases the quota. That’s what I meant to say but it was unfortunate of me to put it. Since the WhatsApp went out from my phone, I take responsibility for it. It was a private message.’
Photo Credit: Getty