Soccer

Townsend says Hodgson's joke was complimentary

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LONDON (AP)

England winger Andros Townsend says coach Roy Hodgson's controversial monkey joke was complimentary.

Hodgson, who has apologized for his remarks, made the joke at halftime during Tuesday's 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Poland to encourage his players to pass the ball more to Townsend, who is black.

Townsend told the BBC on Friday that ''the manager just told the players to give the ball to me, so that's a compliment.''

While many have supported Hodgson, the head of the Society of Black Lawyers sent a letter of complaint to the English Football Association, urging it ''to provide mandatory `race appreciation' training and `cultural capital and cultural intelligence' training to Roy Hodgson and all football managers in the UK.''

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