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5 February 2019, 15:44
Football legend John Barnes has told LBC Liam Neeson should be “commended” for his honesty about once having violent thoughts about killing a black person.
The ex-England player defended the Hollywood actor after he opened up about the shame he felt following the incident 30 years ago.
Neeson sparked global headlines after he admitted he once wanted to kill a black person after a friend of his was raped.
In a much talked about interview, the Taken actor described arming himself with a cosh weapon hoping someone would “have a go” at him so he could kill them.
His remarks have triggered a furious backlash, but Barnes said if people are instantly shouted down then they “won’t tell the truth about the way they feel”.
“It is completely understandable in the way he feels because of the narrative and the perception that society has shown us about the worth of black people,” Barnes told Shelagh Fogarty.
“Very much like how we are now talking about Muslim grooming gangs, Muslim terrorists, therefore there is a perception that all Muslims are terrorists.
“You feel that in times of stress, when a family relative has been raped then you think it’s a black person and black people are rapist because that is what society has told us, then after a week you think ‘I’m ashamed about what I’ve felt and I’m horrified about what I believed’ - he’s showing how destructive that thought process is.
“For that, he should be commended”.