Joey Barton criticized for referring to his brother's racially-motivated murder of a teenager as "a scrap".

He called it a "dispute" between his brother and the victim.

December 1st 2023.

Joey Barton criticized for referring to his brother's racially-motivated murder of a teenager as
Ex-Manchester City footballer Joey Barton has sparked anger after referring to the racially-motivated murder of 18-year-old Anthony Walker by his brother Michael Barton and his cousin Paul Taylor as a ‘f***ing scrap’ in an upcoming podcast.
The incident took place in McGoldrick Park, Liverpool in July 2005, when Walker and his friends were subject to racist abuse from the defendants. This soon escalated to a fatal ambush, resulting in the ice axe being driven through Walker's skull, killing him instantly.

The pair fled to Amsterdam to avoid the charges but returned to the UK 11 months later, where they were charged with his murder and sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court. Mr Justice Leveson said the murderers had carried out a ‘terrifying ambush’ and a ‘racist attack of a type poisonous to any civilised society’. Michael Barton was sentenced to life with a minimum term of 17 years, but was released on licence in September last year.

Joey Barton's comments during the podcast have been widely circulated on social media, prompting anger from The Anthony Walker Foundation, which was set up in 2006 to try and eradicate racism, hate and discrimination. In a statement, the charity expressed its hope that Barton would ‘reflect on the impact of his words and the profound significance of the actions of his brother’.

The former Bristol Rovers manager has always expressed his shock and disgust at his brother's actions. In 2016, he wrote in his autobiography that he ‘cannot forget or forgive’ the actions of Taylor, and believed that both men ‘deserved their sentences’. He also wondered if he could have done any more to prevent Walker's murder.

Although Michael Barton's behaviour did improve during his sentence, the severity of his brother's crime cannot be downplayed. Joey Barton should use this opportunity to reflect on the tragedy and consider the impact of his words.

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