Wright & Collymore in furious Twitter feud in UK TV race debate

The former England internationals became engaged in a war-of-words on social media after Collymore referenced Wright in an interview on race

Stan Collymore has accused former Arsenal striker Ian Wright of being an 'uncle Tom' in a foul-mouthed Twitter outburst.

The ex-Liverpool and Aston Villa attacker initially singled out Wright in a Guardian interview about the relationship between football and race. Collymore highlighted the small number of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people in football management in the UK, with just five managers from a BAME background in the top four divisions of English football.

He also discussed the impact race has in broadcasting, using Wright as one of his examples of a rare black personality who has made a successful career: “To be a black pundit you either need to be a comedian like Chris Kamara or Ian Wright – guys who have big pearly-white smiles and everyone loves laughing at – or Jermaine Jenas and Alex Scott, who are completely inoffensive."

Wright took offence to these comments, and accused Collymore of blaming others for his own failings, posting a Twitter note stating: "Representation matters. Opportunities matter. I feel sorry for you but you have to let the chip on your shoulder go and take some responsibility for why broadcasters and brands won't be associated with you. Everyone should have the opportunity to fight for their case but the fact that you have to do it at the expense of others speaks more about you than all of us."

Collymore replied to Wright's defence, accusing him of being an 'uncle Tom' character, while also referring to the former Premier League winner as a 'c*nt' in a strongly-worded retort

"You know what you are Ian, and always have been, which is why only you are employed by every British broadcaster. The epitome of a Tom. C*nt," Collymore wrote.