BBC drops football pundit Trevor Sinclair after racial abuse

LONDON: Former England international Trevor Sinclair (pix) has been dropped as a football pundit by the BBC after he racially abused a policeman who arrested him for drink-driving.

Sinclair, 44, was ordered on Tuesday to do 150 hours' community service and given a 20-month drink-driving ban after being found to be twice over the legal limit.

A magistrate's court in Blackpool, northwest England, heard Sinclair asked the policeman if he was being arrested because he was black and accused the police of racism before urinating in a patrol car.

He then called the officer a "White ..." followed by an offensive word.

A BBC spokesman said the former Manchester City and West Ham player who played 12 times for England had worked for the broadcaster on a freelance basis and they "currently had no scheduled plans" to use him again.

Sinclair has previously worked for anti-discrimination charity Show Racism The Red Card. The charity declined to comment on his conviction.

After Sinclair pleaded guilty, he was also ordered to pay the policeman involved £500 pounds (RM2,800) in compensation.

District Judge Jeff Brailsford told Sinclair: "You have worked long hours to try to eradicate what is a real scourge in society.

"So it is particularly sad when events unfolded that night, the words you used that night."

Nick Freeman, representing Sinclair, said the former player was "totally appalled at his behaviour, embarrassed and contrite".

The lawyer said the catalyst for Sinclair's behaviour was a racist comment aimed at him while he was out having a meal with his family earlier that evening. — AFP