Sunderland condemns Moyes, stands by manager after 'slap' remark to female journalist

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Tuesday April 4th, 2017

SUNDERLAND, England (AP) – David Moyes will remain manager of Premier League club Sunderland despite telling a female reporter that she might get a ''slap.''

Sunderland commented publicly on the matter for the first time Tuesday, saying Moyes' remarks were ''wholly unacceptable and such actions are not condoned or excused in any way.''

The club, which is in last place in England's top division, said it ''continues to fully support David in his role as manager.''

Moyes, the former Manchester United and Everton coach, was being interviewed by BBC reporter Vicki Sparks after a Premier League match against Burnley on March 18 when he said: ''You were just getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself. You still might get a slap even though you're a woman. Careful the next time you come in.''

Moyes and Sparks were laughing during the exchange, which has been published by British newspaper The Daily Star, and the reporter did not make a complaint.

The 53-year-old Moyes said Monday that his comments were ''in the heat of the moment'' and that Sparks had accepted his apology.

''The matter was treated with the utmost seriousness from the outset,'' the Sunderland statement read, ''and the swift and decisive action taken by the club and the manager at the time ensured that it was resolved to the satisfaction of the reporter and the BBC, which was the priority.''

The English Football Association will write to Moyes to ask for his observations on the incident. Moyes could be charged as a result.

Sunderland plays at Leicester in the Premier League on Tuesday.

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