Scotland manager Craig Levein slammed by disability charities for blind man joke

December 8, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

Scotland manager Craig Levein has been criticised by disability charities for comparing a footballer to ”a blind man chasing a balloon” while commentating for the BBC.

Levein, 46, shocked listeners of Radio 5 Live during the second half of the clash between Sunderland and West Ham United.

After around 75 minutes of the Premier League match he described West Ham player Zavon Hines stumbling and falling over before losing the ball.

He said: ”I just don’t know if he ever had that under control to be honest. He’s like a blind man chasing a balloon there – sorry – a drunk man chasing a balloon I should say.”

His comment was met with an audible snort of laughter from a Radio 5 Live colleague – believed to be his co-host Colin McNamara.

However, Levein’s words have attracted criticism from several disabled rights charities.

The Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) criticised Levein for using ”unhelpful” language.

He said: ”We don’t endorse that kind of language. It is very unhelpful language and we want people to think a bit more when speaking about disabilities.”

A spokesman for Action for Blind People added that Levein’s comments are ”frustrating” to the blind community.

He said: ”We believe that blind and partially sighted people have the same ability to achieve things and the same careers as their sighted counterparts.

”Therefore it’s always frustrating when blindness is used in a negative way to criticise people or persons.

”There is no reason why a blind person cannot pursue the same occupations and hobbies as the sighted.”

Levein made his comment while commentating on Sunderland versus West Ham United, which kicked off at the Stadium of Light at 4pm on Sunday.

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