Jens Lehmann sacked by Hertha Berlin for asking if pundit Dennis Aogo was being used as a ‘token black g...
Jens Lehmann has been sacked by Hertha Berlin for comments made about former Germany defender Dennis Aogo.
The Arsenal and Germany legend inadvertently sent a WhatsApp message to Aogo, now a Sky pundit, suggesting the 34-year-old was only employed because of his skin colour.
In a screenshot posted by Aogo, a message, which was accompanied by a smiling emoji, from Lehmann read: “Is Dennis your token black guy?”
The former Schalke left-back, who played 12 times for Germany, posted the screenshot on to his Instagram Story with the caption: “Wow, seriously? The message was clearly not intended for me.”
Lehmann, who won a Premier League title with Arsenal without tasting defeat in 2004 in their ‘Invincible’ season, took to social media to apologise for his disgraceful comment.
He wrote: “In a private message from my cell phone to Dennis Aogo, an impression was created for which I apologised in conversation with Dennis.
“As a former national player he is very knowledgeable and has a great presence and brings good ratings for Sky.”
In einer privaten Nachricht von meinem Handy an Dennis Aogo ist ein Eindruck entstanden für den ich mich im Gespräch mit Dennis entschuldigt habe. Als ehemaliger Nationalspieler ist er sehr fachkundig und hat eine tolle Präsenz und bringt bei Sky Quote.— Jens Lehmann (@jenslehmann) May 5, 2021
Last year, Lehmann succeeded Jurgen Klinsmann as an advisor to Hertha Berlin’s supervisory board.
However, in the wake of the ex-goalkeeper’s remarks about Aogo, Hertha have sacked him.
In a brief statement, Hertha president Werner Gegenbauer said: “Such statements are in no way representative of the values that Hertha BSC stands for.
“We distance ourselves from all forms of racism and welcome the action taken by TENNOR Holding.”
ℹ️ Club president Werner #Gegenbauer on #Lehmann: "Such statements are in no way representative of the values that Hertha BSC stands for. We distance ourselves from all forms of racism and welcome the action taken by TENNOR Holding." pic.twitter.com/1fG5XxC7H4— Hertha Berlin (@HerthaBSC_EN) May 5, 2021
Since retiring from playing football, Lehmann has taken up roles in coaching and as a pundit on German television.
He represented his country 61 times and was a member of the World Cup runners-up in 2002 and then the side that finished third four years later.
Having started at Schalke where he won the UEFA Cup in 1997, he played for Milan and Borussia Dortmund before signing for Arsenal in 2003 and remained there until 2008.
He returned in 2011 and played for the club at the age of 41 in a game against Blackpool.