In an interview on Saturday, Joey Barton, the former football player and current manager of Bristol Rovers Football Club, used the word ‘Holocaust’ to describe a bad performance during a football match.
Reacting to Bristol Rovers’ loss to Newport County, Mr Barton said: “I said to the lads during the week, you know, the team’s almost like musical chairs, you know. Someone gets in and does well, but then gets suspended. Someone gets in and does well, gets injured. Someone gets in, does well for a game and then has a Holocaust, a nightmare, you know, an absolute disaster.”
A spokesperson for Campaign Against Antisemitism said: “Mr Barton’s comparison of the Holocaust — the systematic murder of six million Jewish men, women and children — to describe a poor performance on the pitch is at best, a shocking act of ignorance and at worst a disgusting gesture of disrespect to those who were murdered by the Nazis and survivors. Mr Barton should at the very least apologise to Holocaust survivors and undertake a course in Holocaust education.”
This is not the first time a Holocaust reference has been made in the context of describing a poor performance.
In 2019, football pundit and former footballer, Perry Groves, apologised after reportedly describing a player as having “a Holocaust of a game” on a live radio show. One year earlier, Phil Brown, the football player turned manager, apologised for using the same phrase.