London: England`s League Managers` Association apologised Friday for a statement it issued on behalf of former Cardiff manager Malky Mackay, saying the wording was "inappropriate and has been perceived to trivialise matters of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature".
The LMA spoke on behalf of Mackay on Thursday after the 42-year-old Scot and his right-hand man Iain Moody were alleged to have shared racist, sexist and homophobic texts when they worked together at Cardiff.
It tried to explain Mackay`s conduct by saying he was "letting off steam to a friend during some friendly text message banter".
That prompted widespread criticism from anti-discrimination groups, while Henry Winter, the Football Correspondent of Britain`s Daily Telegraph, labelled the LMA`s words as "the statement that sanity forgot".
"The suggestion that racist comments can ever be deemed `banter` is risible, offensive and deeply damaging," Winter wrote. "It is not `banter`, it is bigotry."
Such comments prompted the LMA to issue a new statement on Friday which said: "The LMA apologises for some of its wording, in its release yesterday, which was inappropriate and has been perceived to trivialise matters of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature. That was certainly not our intention," the statement read.
"It is beyond argument that any comments that are discriminatory, even used in private, are totally unacceptable. The LMA remains absolutely aware of our responsibility to the game and to promote and uphold the highest standards of behaviour."
But amidst the expressions of regret and condemnation, there was support for Mackay from veteran QPR manager Hary Redknapp.
"I am not condoning what he has done but he is not a bad person," Redknapp said Friday. "Show me someone who has not made a mistake. "He has not murdered someone, is not a rapist or a paedophile, he has made a mistake but that should not finish his football career.
"People get second chances in life who have committed bad crimes. Yes, he has made a mistake but we are not going to hang him for it. His life has to go on and hopefully he will learn from what he has done."
The LMA`s original statement on this issue was published following Moody`s resignation as sporting director of Premier League side Crystal Palace on Thursday after a file alleging misconduct during his time with Cardiff was sent by the Welsh club to the Football Association.
According to a report in Britain`s Daily Mail, the file alleges that both Moody and Mackay, who was sacked as Cardiff manager by Malaysian owner Vincent Tan in December 2013, sent a series of racist, sexist and homophobic text messages to one another during their time with the Welsh side.
Two months after Mackay`s departure, Moody was fired by Cardiff before going on to join Palace`s staff.
The Mail reported the dossier had come to light after Cardiff engaged London-based law firm Mischon de Reya, who obtained a High Court writ to enter Moody`s house in Balham, south London, where work computers and phones were seized.
Moody`s departure would appear to have closed the door on Mackay succeeding Tony Pulis as Palace manager.
Mackay guided Cardiff to the Premier League after a 51-year absence from English football`s top flight but that didn`t stop Tan sacking both him and Moody.
After he was ditched by Cardiff, Mackay launched a £7.5million ($12.4 million, 9.4 million euros) legal claim against Tan for compensation but dropped the claim in May and apologised to the Bluebirds` owner.
Earlier this week Palace were fined by the Premier League for their part in the `spygate` saga involving Cardiff last April.
The Premier League determined that Palace had breached their `good faith` rule by obtaining information about Cardiff`s team ahead of their 3-0 win when the two clubs were relegation rivals.
The Welsh club had complained to the Premier League that Moody had contacted Cardiff employees for information in the build-up to the game.