May 6 – Former Arsenal and German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann has been sacked from his role on the board of Hertha Berlin after sending a WhatsApp message to Sky pundit and ex-international Dennis Aogo calling him a “token black guy”.
Aogo, who won 12 caps for Germany, has worked as a pundit for Sky Germany since his retirement in the summer and posted a screenshot of the message sent to him by Lehmann prior to Tuesday night’s Champions League semi-final between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.
Lehmann has since apologised to Aogo and said he actually meant that, since the ex-Germany defender Aogo was “very knowledgeable”, he had helped increase the “quota” and had “a great presence and brings in ratings for Sky.”
But that didn’t stop Hertha dismissing Lehmann.
“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.”
A statement from Sky Germany added: “Dennis Aogo is a highly esteemed colleague and an excellent pundit, and we are glad to have him in our team. We at Sky condemn any form of racism and give no space or platform to racism.
“We have often had Jens Lehmann as a guest on our programme and are very disappointed by his behaviour. We do not plan to invite him back onto our broadcasts again.”
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