John Barnes has taken aim at Piers Morgan for "lumping black people in together" over the Liam Neeson race row.
The former footballer has defended Liam over his comments, where he said he wanted to "kill a black b******" after his friend was raped, and he searched black areas to find someone with a cosh to attack.
John has said Liam’s environment, as he was brought up in The Troubles in Northern Ireland, has meant in that moment, he saw black people as "the enemy," and was not trying to pick out an individual because they were black.
He said Liam has "racial bias," rather than being racist himself, but after defending the actor he took aim at Piers and Susanna Reid, the former of whom he called a "hypocrite."
John was livid with Piers and his co-star on GMB Susanna Reid
John has defended Liam on TV before
John said Liam’s comments were taken out of context
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John said: "It [racial bias] is subliminal but it’s not obvious, it’s very similar to subliminally Piers and Susanna talking about, ‘I know if I was black, this is how I would feel.’
"What they’re actually saying is, ‘This is how you should feel,’ and for me, I find that insulting, condescending because there’s no way Piers Morgan or Susanna could ever know what it’s like to feel black or how they would react had they been black.
"What they’re acutally doing is the exact same thing they’re accusing Liam Neeson of doing. They’re accusing Liam Neeson of looking at one guilty black man and making everybody guilty.
"And what they’re saying by that is that, ‘This is the way black people should feel as this is how I would feel if I was black. So that is lumping all black people together, not individualising them."
Before he went on to talk about Piers’ comments about Winston Churchill, he described the danger of "lumping people" in one go.
John continued: "Would I ever say to Piers Morgan or a white cameraman, a white man in working class in East London, ‘Because you’re white let’s all lump toeghet and this is how you should feel.’"
He told Holly and Phil his views
He said Piers was a ‘hypocrite’ for supporting Winston Churchill
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As This Morning’s Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby tried to finish the segment, John wanted to say one more comment at Piers’ expense.
He said: "The day before, which is very hypocritical, he [Piers Morgan] talked about Winston Churchill, who was a white supremacist… he talked about the superiority of the white Aerian race, and Piers is talking about how great he is.
"And when Liam Neeson did something which is less worse, we’re all pillorying him."
John said he spoke to his Irish friends, saying they could understand Liam’s position more as, according to John, the Troubles in Northern Ireland created a tribalism, which meant if one Protestant killed a Catholic, or vice versa, the whole group would be considered an "enemy."
The footballer also said he admitted how ashamed Liam had been by his actions, as he expressed, and also said he felt Liam’s story was about "revenge, not race."
He added: "He [Liam] wanted to describe his film about revenge and when he was asked about a question about how revenge has impacted on you, he wanted to talk about revenge by talking about Ireland first.
Piers Morgan on Good Morning Britain
Liam speaking on Good Morning America
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"He started to talk about friends on hunger strike… I could tell he wanted to talk about that, but he then stopped himself…
"He quickly glossed over that and talked about something that affected him personally. It’s not about race, it’s about revenge."
John further defended Liam by saying he only wanted a description of the person who raped his friend and while Liam may be guilty of "racial bias," which John described as being when someone makes a race-based assumption, Liam did not want to attack someone just because they were black.
Piers has been very outspoken about Liam Neeson, saying in his Daily Mail column: "Sorry Liam, but no amount of hand-wringing contrition now can change the fact that you once spent seven days wanting to murder innocent black people simply for being black.
"There’s a word for that: racist."
This Morning airs weekdays at 10.30am on ITV.
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