Why charity head had to cancel Dave Whelan talk


The chairman of a charity who asked Dave Whelan to speak at a prestigious event has expressed his disappointment at being forced to cancel the invitation 24 hours later.

Brian White, head of Manchester Jewish Community Care, wanted to give the Wigan Athletic chairman a chance to apologise for his remarks that Jews are “shrewd people” who “chase money more than everybody else”.

But he had to backtrack after members of the charity objected.

Mr White said: “I think it's important we don’t let people get away with the kind of comments made by Dave Whelan. But I equally believe people should be given the chance to apologise. We all get Yom Kippur; I don’t see why we shouldn’t extend it to other people.

“Most people wanted him to apologise, but some people didn’t think he should be given the opportunity. People have got embedded, fixed views - doesn’t matter what the evidence is, people will believe what they want to.

“But I'm not going to put an organisation which does such a fantastic job at risk.”

Mr Whelan has been charged by the FA for breaches of its racism rules over comments he made last month about Jews and Chinese people.

The charity had invited him to speak at a breakfast scheduled for December 18, under the title Setting the Record Straight. Instead he will now embark on a series of good deeds.

The Jewish Telegraph reported, and Mr White confirmed, that the Wigan chairman will give £5,000 to Brookvale, a Jewish mental health charity.

He will also make a speech to King David School in Manchester, and has offered the school’s football team the chance to play against Wigan’s youth side.

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