Former Rangers star punished after 'shocking' teammates with appalling racial slur that led to release
A former Rangers player has been hit with an FA punishment after directing a racial slur to a now former teammate.
Jack Simpson has been without a club since the end of August after having his contract terminated by Cardiff City. The 26-year-old, who made nine league appearances for Rangers between 2021 and 2022, left the Bluebirds under unclear circumstances after featuring regularly last season, making 20 league appearances.
But an FA document has now explained the reasons behind his release, and indeed behind a punishment relating to a racist comment. Simpson made the pre-season trip with Cardiff to Portugal during the summer, and after a boozy night out, he is found to have racially abused teammate Rohan Luthra, a 21-year-old goalkeeper.
The FA document reads: "Following a fixture against Porto FC that took place on Saturday 22nd July 2023, the players of CCFC were given permission to have a night out and 'enjoy a few drinks'. The majority of the squad went out into Vilamoura immediately after the game. CCFC were due to fly home the following day on Sunday 23rd July 2023.
"Having consumed high levels of alcohol, JS (Jack Simpson) had returned to his room around 3:00am-4:00am. He got up and went down for breakfast around 6:00am - 6:30am. JS was sat with CCFC teammates Keiron Evans (‘KE’) and Rubin Colwill (‘RC’) when RL approached the table and sat down with his breakfast. At that moment, according to RL (Rohan Luthra), JS said to him – 'Oh Yeah, and you, you’re a dirty P**i'. The use of the words ‘dirty Paki’ was corroborated by KE and RC. The comment appeared to be inexplicable as there had been no conflict or animosity between the two during or prior to the trip.
"RL, hurt and angered by the comment, got up and sat at another table after having told JS not to speak to him and that he was 'out of order'. KE and RC expressed their shock at the remark and said to JS, 'you can’t say that'. JS acknowledged this and said, “yeah, I shouldn’t have said that”.
Detailing Simpson's attempt to apologise, the report adds: "The Team headed to the airport shortly after. KE reported that when at the airport he was stood behind JS in a queue at a coffee shop and they spoke about the incident. JS said words to the effect of, 'I’m so stupid. I don’t know why I said that. My girlfriend is from that country as well.'
"According to KE, JS was clearly disappointed with himself and said he was going to speak with RL and apologise. When JS attempted to engage with RL at the airport, RL told JS that he was a 'racist' and refused to talk to him. RL did not report the incident until after The FA had delivered a presentation at CCFC on Thursday 27th July 2023.
"The FA spoke about the FA Rules and Regulations, including those that cover discrimination and the need to report it. This prompted RL to report the incident that had occurred between himself and JS."
After the incident was reported, Cardiff held an internal meeting in an attempt to get to the bottom of the issue, but Simpson claimed he did not remember making the comment.
"JS stated that he could not recall making the comment attributed to him due to his intoxication from the alcohol he had consumed the night before but accepted that he must have made the comment," continues the report. "The matter was then reported by CCFC to The FA. JS’s contract with CCFC was terminated by ‘mutual agreement’ on 31st August 2023. "
Simpson later sent a letter of defence to the FA, along with supporting statements, maintaining that he did not remember making the comment but that his lack of recall of the incident “makes no excuses for his actions on that basis, or at all.”
The result of a hearing was a six-game suspension for Simpson, who remains without a club, along with a fine totalling £8,000, the requirement to pay legal costs totalling a further £1,000 and the mandatory attendance of the FA's face-to-face education programme within four months. The decision is subject to appeal.