English Premier League legend and former Germany international Jens Lehmann has been condemned by the football world over a racist message he accidentally sent to a Black former player.
The former Arsenal and Germany goalkeeper has been sacked from his supervisory board role at Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin after sending a racist WhatsApp message about football pundit, Dennis Aogo.
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A former Germany international himself, Aogo is a TV analyst for Sky Sport's football coverage.
Aogo was working on broadcaster Sky's coverage of the Champions League semifinal game between Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday.
However, he was left shocked by WhatsApp message sent from Lehmann that asked whether Aogo was "actually your quota Black person."
"WOW are you serious?" Aogo wrote on Instagram alongside a screenshot of the comment.
"This message was probably not meant for me."
Lehmann said on Twitter that he apologised to Aogo for the "impression" given by the message.
He added that Aogo was "knowledgeable" in his work as a TV analyst and said he raised Sky's share or "quota" of the ratings.
As well as his previous role with Hertha Berlin, Lehmann has also been a Sky analyst but will no longer appear on its coverage of games, Sky Germany executive vice president for sports Charly Classen confirmed.
The 51-year-old has come in for widespread criticism from football fans in the wake of the controversy.
Football club 'distances itself' from Lehmann
Hertha Berlin said Lehmann had expressed himself "in a racist way" in the message to Aogo.
"Such statements do not reflect in any way the values that Hertha BSC stands for and actively campaigns for," club president Werner Gegenbauer said.
"Hertha BSC distances itself from any form of racism."
Lehmann had joined the Hertha supervisory board in May 2020.
Hertha goalkeeper Alexander Schwolow welcomed the announcement that Lehmann was no longer involved with the club.
"We as a club, as Hertha, represent certain values. Those weren't reflected in this message. Therefore, I think this step had to come," Schwolow said.
Lehmann was the keeper for Arsenal's "Invincibles" squad that went through the entire 2003-04 Premier League season undefeated.
He also played at Borussia Dortmund and Schalke. He made 61 appearances for Germany and retired in 2011.
Aogo, who was in Germany's squad at the 2010 World Cup, retired last year.
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